To be sure, these beer-ad rules don't actually exist on paper (that we know of), but they're real enough. How else to explain the lock-step adherence to such conventional wisdom by Big Beer?
One of these beer rules:
BeerAd*Rule: Do NOT preach to young men, just entertain them. Guys won't listen to preaching and will be annoyed with the advertiser who tries to get all serious with them.
Just try and remember any beer ad devoted to preaching to young men.
But what you'll see if you click on all three videos below is four minutes of liquor advertising absolutely crushing the "Do not preach" dictum. Three different liquor brands all preaching their hearts out. And they're not preaching about minor issues like how men should dress or style their hair, either. No, they're tackling the big ones: True happiness; the character of a man; personal choices that will define the trajectory of your life.
No beer brand would dare venture into this minefield!
Conventional wisdom says young guys are sure to tune these out completely. And shoot the alcohol messengers for good measure.
Maybe the booze guys just see things differently.
Booze*Insight: There is part of a young man's psyche that longs for meaning and direction; properly addressed, this emotional need can be a basis for connecting with a brand.
Decide for yourself whether it's the beer-advertising rule-makers, or the liquor rule-breakers who have it right.