They’re at it again. Macro beer taking ridiculous, unnecessary shots at the craft beer drinkers of the world. If you were one of the millions and millions to watch the excellent Super Bowl 49 broadcast, you undoubtedly caught the newest Budweiser commercial dubbed “Brewed The Hard Way” in which Budweiser takes multiple shots at the craft beer community.
This isn’t the first time the Macro-Beer world has taken aim at craft beer lovers; Shock Top was guilty of a similar line of obnoxious commercials in 2014. It seems as though the craft beer movement has grown to such a size in the market that macro beer companies feel the need to throw its drinkers under the bus and ridicule craft brew, and those who love it.
Budweiser’s new commercial takes a concerted effort to harp upon some of the characteristics of craft beer drinkers, their drinking habits, and their hobby as it relates to craft beer. The commercial depicts a gentleman sniffing a craft beer out of a tulip glass, a couple of buddies scrambling over some BJCP scoresheets, and a faceless patron ordering a “fancy” pumpkin peach ale. (Don’t forget that Blue Moon’s newest beer is a peach ale; also owned by a macro beer conglomerate). The entire commercial, much like that of Shock Top’s comes off as patronizing and petty. Again, the major pitch here is that Budweiser isn’t meant to be thought about; it is meant to DRINK and THAT’S IT.
As one watches these types of commercials, a few things come to mind. First, it appears that macro beer is feeling the heat of the expanding market share held by craft breweries. Secondly, it seems the goal of these commercials is to embarrass the craft drinker into ordering a Budweiser in an attempt to escape ridicule. I can’t fathom how they expect these commercials to go over – and really – why they even bother with this type of ad campaign. People who typically order a Budweiser or other macro beer are most likely not into craft beer anyhow, and this commercial is not suddenly steering them further away. Likewise, the people who are ordering craft beer at their favorite bar or restaurant are not going to see this commercial and suddenly cease all craft beer consumption; quite contrary, it seems that any craft beer lover would most likely be LESS inclined to order a Budweiser after being insulted on national TV in front of millions of spectators. Ad campaigns such as these just seem senseless from a marketing perspective.
Budweiser’s Identity Crisis
What is almost laughable about the entire ad campaign is that Budweiser’s parent company, AB-In Bev, has been snatching up craft breweries left and right in massive buy-outs and conglomeration deals. Breweries like Goose Island, 10 Barrel Brewing Company, Blue Point, and most recently, Elysian Brewing Company. If AB-In Bev, or more specifically, Budweiser is so put-off by the snobbery of craft beer drinkers, why purchase so many craft breweries to incorporate in their portfolio? The hypocrisy is enough to make you choke-up your ice-cold macro brew!
Feeling the Heat
It appears that as I write this article, Budweiser has already started to feel the backlash from this ad campaign. Below is a screenshot of the Budweiser official twitter in which they appear to already be backpedaling on their intentions.
To make matters worse – or better – depending on their true intentions, the YouTube page for the official video is taking some serious heat as well in the form of a vicious amount of down-votes.
Perhaps Budweiser’s true intentions are not to please or upset anybody in particular, but rather make an advertisement so polarizing and insulting that it gets people talking about the brand. I don’t know if discussion of the brand naturally leads to an increase in sales – especially from an angry populace of beer drinkers – but as the old adage goes, “Any publicity is good publicity”.
What Do YOU Think?
Let us know in the comments below, or hit us up on our twitter feed and let us know what you think of this ad campaign from Budweiser. Is this harmless fun on the part of Budweiser? Is the craft beer community too snobby and thus this commercial is justified? Is this bad business and poor advertising? We want to hear from you!
If nothing else, beer lovers, please do remember;