How much can a person’s dignity be sold for? How much did Budweiser pay Peyton Manning for a plug immediately after his team won Superbowl 50? The answers are one and the same.
Exciting month for Anheuser-Busch. First, they convinced Marcus Mumford-collaborator Justin Timberlake to become the "creative director" for Bud Light Platinum. And now the company is being sued by beer drinkers in three different states for allegedly watering down its beer. The lawsuits, filed in Pennsylvania, California and New Jersey, accuse Anheuser-Busch of watering down 11 of their beers, including Budweiser, the aforementioned Bud Light Platinum, and Black Crown; each lawsuit is seeking damages of over over $5 million.
Apparently, all publicity is not good publicity if you're one of the fine and Moral corporate types at Anheuser-Busch. It seems as though their trademark product, the mediocre but perfectly acceptable Budweiser, is prominently featured in the new film Flight, which is about a functional alcoholic named Denzel Washington who flies planes for a living, or something along those lines. One of Washington's self-destructive beverages of choice is Budweiser, a fact which has the company all in a tizzy because, you see, despite spending hundreds of millions a year to push Bud on anyone who watches any sort of sporting event, Anheuser-Busch is all about responsible boozing.
As an American, there is no greater service that you can perform for your country than to drink vast quantities of beer. Not pussy foreign "Heineken" or "Corona" beer, the purchase of which amounts to draining the faltering American economy in order to subsidize enemy (non-US) nations. We're talking about real god damn American beer. Budweiser. Miller. The shit that G.I. Joe would drink.
The makers of America's Beer, Budweiser, have released an ad about a soldier coming home from one of the various wars and celebrating with his family and friends in a well-lit sexy barn party stocked with Budweiser beer. That's nice. But the soldier's gay, right? The gays are wondering. The spot's two principals are the soldier and a certain guy back home, who's either his brother or a very best friend or his super gay lover. Not like they're fucking or anything.
Anheuser-Busch spent $134 million of its $1.3 billion marketing budget advertising Budweiser last year. Just 3 percent of that — $3.9 million — got spent online. Now that Belgium's InBev has acquired Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion, can we expect much change? In a word, no. Why? For one, A-B's current marketing strategy — TV spots against late-night shows and sports — works to sell suds. It'll be tough convincing even the company's new owners to fix what's not broken.
Listen, we know you're all excited about the news of InBev's $46 billion bid to buy Anheuser-Busch. But have you considered the possible side effect? Fewer beer ads! A-B spends half a billion dollars a year on commercials, and another $300 million on sports sponsorships. But InBev—the maker of fey non-American beers like Stella Artois—is run by Belgian cheapskates who do comparatively little advertising at all. Watch out, Budweiser Clydesdales, Spuds MacKienzie, and American sportsmanship: foreigners are coming to destroy you!
Unlike the Good Old Days, when the only thing you had to fear from an advertisement was a scary photo of a possessed-looking child, marketers in this modern era have given into the temptation to cuss motherfuckers out. The New York Times uses a surprising amount of non-cuss words to get to the bottom of the trend that is advertisers who purposely put bleeped-out words into their ads. Sometimes they're real cuss words; other times, they're mundane things like product names, bleeped out in an attempt to be clever. Fuck that. After the jump, the true balls-to-the-wall prototype of ads that bleep real cuss words: "Swear Jar," a famous viral Budweiser commercial in which I honestly think the guy in the meeting room says "We're gonna fuck some ass!" and "We're gonna suck some big cock!" Still, don't drink Budweiser.