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Thursday 2 October 2014
Dan Fox
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Will wackiness spark Bud Light’s turnaround?

14th August, 2014 by Dan Fox

Beer brands routinely amp up their promotional advertising during the summer.

1775906That’s been especially true for the light beers because, while beer sales in general go up in warmer months, light beer sales really pop.

No brand needs that sort of sales punch more than America’s #1 beer. Bud Light’s numbers have been heading in a southerly direction for some time. The company’s CEO is so desperate for good news that he’s now spinning a one-month trend of “flat” Bud Light sales as a cause for optimism.

His wacky honor, the Mayor (center)

His wacky honor, the Mayor (center)

No need for worry, we’re told. All the rotten sales trends came before Bud Light’s three-day mega-promotion event kicks in this summer. From every indication, an unnamed small midwestern city is about to be overrun with beer-crazed youth bent on a good time. Hey, that ought to put at least one Bud Light distributor in a good mood!

Several commercials featuring a fake mayor–who, one hopes, can suspend noise ordinances, DUI (dancing under the influence), and police enforcement of disorderly conduct statutes– point toward “wacky” as the driving aspect of the 72 hours of good times. The chosen few partygoers (selected by auditions, no doubt to ensure some desired demographic balance) look to be headed for spring break, without the spring. This time next year may see a bump in babies named “Bud”… or “Whatever.”

And now, after a half-dozen or so of these “mayor” commercials, here come even more new Bud Light commercials, apparently designed to give you an even better idea of the kind of craziness you can expect in “Whatever, U.S.A.” It’s only a guess, but it’s possible the mayor guy’s appeal was confined to only a small part of the target.

What’s on tap in Whatever, USA? A game of cornhole… a piñata… a weird neon sign… and what looks to be a terrorist-targeted building destroyed by music. So unbelievably… wacky!

Readers of this blog may be asking themselves what all this has to do with selling beer. And it’s a good question. After all, what do these commercials say about… Bud Light? What do they say to make Bud Light distinctive and appealing?

That its drinkers are wacky?

That people will drink it if it’s given to them free?

That it’s party-hearty beer?

Unfortunately for Bud Light, none of that is in the least bit distinctive. None of it is particularly motivating. And as a consequence, none of it will help the brand very much.

So, when all this money–literally tens of millions–invested behind “Wacky people partying with free beer” fails to turn around Bud Light, do you think Mister Optimism, the CEO, will get canned?

Nah. But the ad agency probably will.

Whatever.

For more articles from Hey Beer Dan check out his website: plzdontletbuddie.com

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