It began about this time last year, leading up to the SuperBowl XLVIII, with teaser ads featuring Arnold Schwarzenegger, among others. Later on, the brand's summer event centered on a much-ballyhooed promotion that brought beer drinkers from their hometowns to "Whatever, USA"--also known as Crested Butte, Colorado--for a weekend's hijinks. So, what(ever) will they think of next?
Wacky whatever labels
Out just in time for the SuperBowl XLIX hype-fest, here come 100 different Bud Light labels, each featuring, according to AdAge, "a phrase that plugs the brand as the 'perfect beer' for various exploits. For instance, one bottle will describe Bud Light as 'the perfect beer for forming a one-person conga line,' while another will declare it 'the perfect beer for when you're eating breakfast meats outside of breakfast hours.'" And it appears this label hilarity will also be the focus of the brand's SuperBowl ads, again according to AdAge.
One-person conga lines, arm-wrestling suggestions, and bacon-for-dinner? Do these notions strike you as even mildly amusing? Do you think hip millennial drinkers will be captivated by this label gimmickry? Will it cause these young people to embrace the beer?
For me, the answers are a hat-trick of no. The labels seem more likely to generate a "verbal shrug of the shoulders."
Coincidentally, the millennials have a word for that, too...
These days, the 18-33 year-old "millennials"--the children of Baby Boomers and GenXers--are the object of every brewer's affections. Courting these difficult-to-reach young folks is an industry unto itself. Beer-marketing executives, once thought to have their own fingers on the pulse of their target market, now genuflect before the altars of new-media sages and oh-so-hip young consultants who profess crystal-ball insight into the "mind of the millennial."
Like previous generations, the millennials have developed their own language, or at least their own favorite words. Not to be left outside their hipness tent, Bud Light has appropriated a word of their slang, and built an entire advertising campaign around it: "Whatever."
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Dan Fox is a real beer guy.