America? Hell No.
So, in case you haven't heard, our old friends at InBev have decided to go ahead with what may be remembered as a new low-water mark in the history of marketing. And in the history of shameless pandering in general.
Starting in May and running through the November election, "Budweiser" will now be known as "America."
Just feast your eyes on that can. Really, soak in the details. Every inch of it has been plastered in American slogans. It's now got the national anthem above the crest. It says "e pluribus unum" below the the name. The "A-B" for Anheuser-Busch has become "U-S" instead. Even that cut-off print at the very bottom, which you can hardly read, says "Liberty and Justice for All."
If Lady Liberty crapped out a red-white-and-blue bald eagle and planted a US flag straight into its skull while singing the Team America theme, it still wouldn't be this patriotic.
Which is undoubtedly why everyone is laughing their asses off. (Even Fox!)
The Easy Jokes
If you're at all like me, your head might be spinning madly like a tumble-dryer with a brick inside. There are so many ways this is completely wrongheaded and absurd that it's hard to list them. I mean, just for starters:
- Budweiser is foreign-owned. They're based in Belgium! And, of course, InBev are their corporate masters.
- Isn't it bad enough that most of the rest of the world already mocks American beer based on Budweiser and similar low-alcohol / low-taste so-called "light lagers"?
- Do we really want to proudly proclaim that the true bottom of the barrel is what America celebrates?
- When you think of "America" do you think of words like "weak" or "watered down" or just plain "pissy"? (Or how about "indistinguishably commoditized?")
One could just go on and on. However, what's really funny here is the smell, not of vaguely unpleasant alkalinity, but of desperation.
Behold The Royal Pretender
The so-called King of Beers hasn't actually lived up to that name in quite some time. They've been losing ground steadily for decades. Back in 1988, Budweiser accounted for 25% of the domestic beer market. Now they're down to only 7%. They've lost a full percent of sales in the last year alone.
Needless to say, both craft and import beer sales have been soaring in that same timeframe.
And this is hardly the first time Bud has started showing its insecurity. Its "Brewed the Hard Way" commercial from the 2015 Super Bowl tried to take aim at the "hipster craft brew drinker" image, but really just showed how out-of-touch they were. When your product is pretty much legendary for being one of the least-interesting beers in the world, claiming you're "beer made for people who like to drink beer" just falls flat.
(Far flatter than their proudly sudsy brew, anyway.)
Which brings us to their "America" beer promotion. What's fascinating about it is that there really is no lower common denominator left. There is no possible pandering they could engage in that could be more appealing to their target audience, and more blatant to outside observers.
In other words, if America-the-Beer flops, Budweiser just doesn't have anything left in the tank.
So there's that at least.
In the meantime, Duffy's Brew is proudly American-owned, American-made, and uses exclusively American ingredients. As are many, many other products out there which are part of, or supported by, the American craft beer industry.
Don't let yourself -or your loved ones- fall for such cheap tricks. Buy American beer products that are truly American, not ones who think America is just a gimmick.