Luckily, social media is there to fill in the gaps, otherwise I would have totally missed this gem from Budweiser.
The commercial was one of two the macro brewery ran during the game. While the other was the typical heart-string tug we’ve come to expect from these things (the puppy! The Clydesdales!), the “Brewed the Hard Way” ad was a straight-on attack on craft beer and the people who drink it.
The ad is set to a generic electronic “jock-rock” tune and paints Budweiser as a “proudly macro beer;” one that’s not meant to be fussed over or dissected (by mustachioed hipsters, especially). To craft beer lovers, the whole thing has distinctly defensive (and divisive) vibe, which seems odd considering Budweiser sells about as much beer as the entire craft-beer industry and that its parent company produces Shock Top and has bought (or owns stake in) a number of craft breweries including Green Valley Brewing Company, Goose Island, Redhook Brewing and Seattle’s Elysian Brewing Company. Way to play both sides Anheuser-Busch.
Obviously, the commercial got the craft beer geeks all excited, which might have been the goal. But was it effective beyond that? I have some craft-beer bias, so I’ll ask you. Did Budweiser just put beer snobs in their place? Or is this the Walmart of beer attempting re-tool and re-“cool” its image within its core audience?
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