Wednesday, January 25, 2012

An Examination of Beer Ads

I would like to take a one-post break from beer and photography to talk a little about the business of beer. Obviously, all breweries want to sell as much of their beer as possible. Some of the more wealthy breweries try to convince people to buy their beers through commercials (adverts to our European friends).  Today, I'm going to run through a few commercials and explain what they are trying to convey about their beer and what I think about them.

The message: Let's Get Drunk!

My Reaction: I like it. This is the purpose of Bud Light. They know it. They embrace it. There is no delusions of grandeur here. It is very clear about its intended purpose and I respect that. I also find it funny that it starts with about 6 bud lights in a bucket, but within 11 seconds there are people with 30 racks walking around. When is the last time someone bought a 6 pack of bud light?

The message: You aren't a man if you don't drink Miller Lite because Miller Lite is a delicious beer with fancy flavor because it is brewed with hops added 3 times. 

My Reaction: There are so many things wrong with the above sentence. First, they should never try to make the point that Miller Lite tastes good. They should try to say that it tastes less bad than others (not even true in my opinion). Also, they try to sound fancy by using terms such as "pilsner" and "triple-hops brewed". Let me clarify, Miller Lite is more of a light pilsner style and tons of beers are triple hops brewed. This means that hops are added three times in the brewing process, first for bitterness, then flavor, and finally aroma. This doesn't automatically make them better beers. Also, judging by the hop character of Miller Lite, there is a negligible amount of hops added. I don't like how they are trying to bully people into drinking their poorly-flavored water. To kind of throw their slogan back at them, "If you are drinking Miller Lite for it's 'Great Pilsner taste' you have no idea what a great pilsner tastes like."

The message: There is heineken at this eclectic party. You should therefore drink it.

My Reaction: First, I like the song, so plus. Second, it doesn't really seem like a commercial for heineken, more like there is some product placement for heineken in a commercial for nothing. I like the commercial, not the beer.

The message: Relax with a Corona.

My Reaction: Sure. Fine. If you like Corona, relax with it. My issue is with the girl. If your favorite run is the last of the day, why did you go snowboarding? What is wrong with you? Also, was the dude just sitting there drinking Coronas all day? Why are you two on the mountain? I'm not going to judge too much on the beer, but it is a little cold to be drinking such a summertime beer.

The message: Coors Light is really freaking cold. Like all the time. Just really cold.

My Reaction: Let test their theory. Let a can of Coors Light sit out in the open all day. Still ice cold? I get that you can tell visibly tell when it is cold, but that in and of itself does not make it cold.  Slow your roll there Coors, I make the beer as cold as I want to and I don't make your beer cold at all. Their other slogan makes sense though, "The world's most refreshing beer". I think water is the most refreshing drink, so if your beer tastes like water, it makes sense to be the most refreshing.

The message: This guy will drink Dos Equis every once in a while and he is awesome. Also, you should drink a lot.

My Reaction: I find these commercials hilarious. This guy has become the Chuck Norris of the moderately priced beer world. They are generally up front about it too. He isn't supposed to be an expert at beer. He even says, "I don't always drink beer...", in some of his commercials. They are trying to poach the people who want to spend a little more on their beer, but aren't ready for serious taste yet. It works for them.

The message: As best as I can tell, this is about the dangers of alcoholism. It will ruin friendships, kill the ones you love, and feed them to other alcoholics?

My Reaction: Trading a pig for a glass of Stella? I know what they are trying to say, but I found the execution weird.  They should stick to commercials about beauty. They make more sense.

Fun fact: In the UK, Stella is known as "The Wife Beater" because it is cheap and at a whopping 5%, is stronger than most English beers. I think this fits well with the message that I got out of the commercial.

The message: We respect our beer, you should too.

My reaction: First of all, I hate the first woman. Overall though, I like that they have a series of commercials that teach a little bit about beer. I also think it's smart that they use the same song (it always makes me think of Sam Adams). I can't fault them for their commercial, but I can't say I will jump at the chance to drink their beer.

Ok, enough of that.
I really should have gotten paid for having you watch so many commercials, though I guess they probably wouldn't appreciate my commentary. Oh well. Back to the norms with my next post!

If you want me to look at a particular beer, drink, place, or have anything to say to me, email me at You can send me cool photos too, if you like.

1 comment:

  1. Ok, I completely agree with almost all of your comments. The two that stick out the most are "The Most Interesting Man in the World", I love that guy, he is my hero, if I were graduating high school my quote would be from him. The second one was the Stella commercial, that made me cry, now I will always think horrible thoughts when I drink Stella. I LOVE Sam Adams commercials. I literally want a Boston Lager right now just after watching that commercial. Good Post, it'll be interesting to see how micro-breweries start to advertise while they get a larger market share.