I have read several somewhat hysterical articles recently about Bud Light and its advertising and why it’s to blame for the brand’s recent sales decrease.

And of course, the laptop quarterbacks are quick to pooh-pooh and diss Bud Light’s advertising for being “juvenile” and “sophomoric”, like that’s automatically a bad thing.

“Sophisticated” beer advertising is what closes on Saturday night guys.

I’m not saying beer advertising has to be oafish or aggressively stupid, as so much of the category is of late, but we are talking beer here. And the audience is primarily young guys. Not Proust scholars.

One of the biggest mistakes ad folks can make in beer advertising is to create advertising aimed at themselves.

I’m not sure how to break this to you, but you are old. And the target market for beer is young. Juvenile almost.

People get set in their ways fast when it comes to alcohol. Everyone has their own, frequently wacky, reasons why they drink what they drink.

With beer advertising you are only talking to those who are still open to suggestion.

And let’s not forget that this juvenile style of advertising is what built the brand to being the NUMBER ONE BRAND OF BEER IN AMERICA. A nice problem to have.

When I worked on the brand it experienced phenomenal growth. Double digit increases year on year for more than a decade. Bud Light was a juggernaut.

Ironically, in my opinion, some of the ground the beer category lost to spirits was inadvertently the very result of the success of light beer.

All through the ’80s/’90s and into the ’00s, the drumbeat of beer advertising was essentially “less calories=better. calories=bad”.

And then along came a generation that essentially said “you know what mr. brewery dude, you are right. I think I’ll have a ketel one on the rocks with soda and a lime!”

(Nothing juvenile about this classic)


  1. You are right Vinny. I slam the mass US brands a lot not because they make the ads they do. In fact the uptight delusional US of A forgets that these ads are aimed at the 13 to 25 year old demographic. Binge drinkers. Drinkers who have to actually determine with a finite amount of money how they can get the most drunk. It is why in High School we drank Meisterbrau when it came out. Horrible beer but damn we could get high volume for little cash.

    In fact I often laugh at these ads and welcome them.

    What I slam them for is that when I see the ads they pay to reach someone who will never buy the product. But often it can not be helped. I bet the mass beer market in the US has one of the highest percentage of ad spend wastage of any brand or product out there.

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