January 25, 2007

Because Wretchedness is Universally Recognized

WELL, HERE'S A HEADLINE that scares the hell out of me: "Bud's Super Bowl ads take on an international flavor."

The good people at USA Today have the full story. Apparently, the Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. are concerned about the declining U.S. fortunes of their Budweiser product (which in The Rant's opinion tastes like horse piss). According to USA Today, as imports have gained market share at Bud's expense, the company has decided they're going to try and promote Budweiser as a "world beer" during the Super Bowl.

No, I'm not making that up. That's what the paper said:

"The Budweiser brand — which has been losing market share domestically for several years — is being re-billed as a "world" beer. As imported beer sales have climbed, Anheuser-Busch has been buying up import brands in recent years. And its Super Bowl ads seem to be doing less flag-waving and more global hugs.

Two Bud spots will end with a logo of the globe behind the familiar Budweiser symbol.

For A-B, it's a new world — of competition.

"We have lots of equity in our traditional American heritage," says (Bob Lachky, executive vice president of global industry development). "But most people don't know that Budweiser is one of the world's most popular beers." In fact, it's second only to Bud Light as the world's best-selling beer."

A world beer, eh? One wonders what the folks at Budweiser Budvar will think about that. For that matter, one wonders what the rest of the world's going to think about that, or at the very least the Europeans, who mastered the art of brewing. I am confident my European readers are already reading this and snickering, or perhaps more properly gasping in horror, at the very idea of Bud being promoted as a world beer. That's somewhat like promoting some wretched, cheese-drenched Pizza Hut creation as a "world pizza."

Simply put, it's not going to work. It's not going to work precisely because Bud is a mass-produced American beer and, as such, represents everything associated with mass-produced American beer. Meanwhile, these ads will be shown during the one American sporting event which gets broadcast around the world, and everyone abroad is going to either a) laugh at us even harder or b) hate us even more than they already do. I mean, can you imagine it? Here you'll have people in God-knows-where, already having trouble figuring out what a "nickel defense" is and why the Colts quarterback stinks to high heaven, and then they're going to wonder why the Americans insist on drinking thin, watery beer.

Also, for the record, The Rant is astounded that Bud and Bud Light are the world's best-selling beers. Why, even the Canadians are drinking the stuff -- and they always claim to know better!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at January 25, 2007 09:36 PM | TrackBack
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