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)