Make no mistake, those are product-distinctiveness claims, and it's been way too long since they've been employed in light-beer ads from BigBeer.
Yes, that's two sentences in a row featuring the adjective "meaningless," but it nicely highlights our repeated critiques of the two brands' ads over the past several years.
Throughout all this vapid beer advertising, ours has been a loud (if indeed any blog can ever be called that) and consistent voice proclaiming that, without selling their product distinctiveness, both of America's top two beer brands were in for trouble. So, are we egomaniacal enough to posit that the marketing geniuses at Miller Coors and Anheuser-Busch finally slapped their respective foreheads exclaiming, "Dang, that HeyBeerDan dude is right"?
We're egomaniacal, but not that egomaniacal.
According to Beer Marketer's Insights, both brands are staring at volume losses amounting to millions of dollars of vanished profit. And the declines are only getting worse, seemingly by the week. Bud Light is off 6% in the new year, Coors Light's off 5%. The fact is, sales-desperation is the common thread accounting for the shift here...
Said another way, "After spending tens of millions on meaningless Dilly Dilly ads that haven't sold a drop of beer, we're going to add a touch of product distinctiveness and see if that works." The fact is, it's going to take more than a dash, and more than an ad here and there. It requires real focus.
Still, we applaud even the beginning of this light-beer change of direction, dare we say, change of heart. People--by the millions--choose these two brands for a reason. Getting beer marketers to understand what's special and distinctive in the beer itself can be the first step to creating ads that motivate beer drinkers to choose. The basis for that choice? Ads that ever more dramatically and creatively communicate the beer's difference, its distinctiveness. Its... reason.
For now, based on the relative emphasis on the respective brand's distinctiveness as delivered in these ads, it appears Coors Light has a definite head start. For a market-leader under real pressure, Anheuser-Busch's approach here is oddly more tentative, more of a half-step.
Nevertheless, call us optimistic. Guarded, but optimistic.