Remember when the anticipation for Super Bowl commercials was more fevered than the actual game? Whether your team was in the big game or not, you could always say it was time well spent because you were advertised at by companies willing to part with millions of dollars in return for a :30 second spot that probably won’t make you buy, but might make you laugh.
I’ve got news for you, boys and girls…those days are over. Thanks to this little Internet do-hicky (sic), you can watch most of these commercials before the National Anthem gets lip-synced in the highest-rated television program of the year. Most companies are using their advertising dollars for other initiatives that ACTUALLY GET RESPONSE FROM CUSTOMERS IN THE YEAR 2016. And you have to admit, the overall quality of the commercials has gone down over the last couple years while, believe it or not, the games have been fun to watch!
But then there’s long-standing Super Bowl traditional advertiser Anheuser-Busch. For as long as I can remember, there’s been frogs and horses and puppies and boobies and athletic beer bottles touting their product a metric shit-ton of times throughout the game. But last year, they took it to a new level with their stab at craft beer. It was the kickoff to a campaign that’s been going throughout the past year.
ICYMI, here it is:
And guess what?
I mentioned “getting response” a second ago. That’s EXACTLY what they got from the craft beer community. Everyone was talking about it. No one could believe the nerve, the gaul, the AUDACITY of this swilly beer conglomerate. “Pumpkin peach” this and “brewed the hard way” that…it was all-out PANDEMONIUM in the tiny, oh-so-insignificant world of craft beer. I mean, no craft brewery could be proud of the fact that their hard work and dedication had made such an impact on A-B’s yellow fizz water aged on Beechwood (you know, the stuff in snuff) sales that the big menacing giant actually recognized their existence, right? RIGHT?!
See, they made more people talk about Budweiser with that little one minute spot than anyone had for YEARS. But it didn’t exactly change their downward trend of sales. In fact, craft beer sales surpassed those of the Budweiser brand at the end of 2014 and continued trending upward in 2015, meaning the King of Beer had to use its royal might and worldly riches to, not improve their product or anything absurd like that, but to make more commercials ripping on craft breweries while using more of those riches to buy craft breweries.
To be fair, I guess they are comedic geniuses. And they’ve proven as much with their new one-minute spot for Super Bowl 50. And thanks to the webs, you can watch it right stat now! Here:
I couldn’t agree more. Don’t fruit your beer. Your beer doesn’t need fruit.
But, my favorite part? “Not Sipped.” As baseball players are pouring it all over every conceivable part of themselves and their teammates’ bodies except their mouths…so, not drank, either. Oh, and “Not Imported.” Their marketing folks must’ve brushed aside that memo about the number of craft breweries IN AMERICA now being higher than the total number prior to Prohibition. I guess we can assume the title of the memo said “Read The Hard Way,” so the execs flipped it upside down and finally gave up trying to discover the hidden clues.
I love funny things. This commercial is one of those things. After last year’s hilarity, I didn’t think they’d rev up the engines and do it again. But the comedic geniuses proved me wrong. That’s why I’m down here with a little craft beer blog, and they’re up there, acting all ‘not small’ and ‘not backing down.’ I wonder what else they’re over-compensating for.
Being a comedic genius takes timing. And they’ve managed to time it perfectly. This little spot will air when millions upon millions of the majority of Super Bowl viewers are drinking something that doesn’t taste like the bottom of an infected foot…and they’ll laugh and they’ll laugh when Hercules carries a 1/2 keg on his shoulder because THAT proves how good your beer is.
Don’t get offended by this most recent errant shot, craft beer nation. That missile is b-lining straight out to sea like an intoxicated SCUD and represents the last bastion of hope these guys have. When it smells like it, looks like it, and feels like it, you call it what it is: desperation.
In essence, even this small little blog post feeds the irony of creating a reaction and a response. And as Jon Taffer says, creating a reaction is what it’s all about. So I’ll own the irony while I enjoy this beer made by someone just like me…someone who had a vision to do something on his or her own and started to build that vision from the ground up. I’m as proud of that as Bud is to be macro. To each their very, very own.
One of the most rhetorical, maybe even unanswerable, questions I got recently was “If A-B flipped the script and started making really good beer, would you drink it?” Who knows. I’ll try any beer once. But I’m pretty confident that’s a dilemma we won’t have to dissect any time soon. A total change-up in the golden suds simply isn’t in the game plan…
Just more fun commercials. And when you look at the mess you have to clean up when your Super Bowl party concludes, who couldn’t use a good laugh?