But then you watch the ads, and guess what? All that's shown is a procession of Lite beer cans in very ordinary situations--in icy water or on a bar--pretty much like we've seen in plenty of other ads for other beers in other cans. Worse, there's absolutely nothing shown or said about how the beer is "made different." Nothing at all. Instead, ahead of a neon sign, we get odd little lectures--some citing calories, some citing taste, some bragging about inventing light beer--with nary a spoken mention of the brand name.
"We didn't just break the mold, we made it. And we spelled it L-i-t-e. Because when you invent light beer, you get to spell it however you want. Spelled different because it's made different."
"You may wonder how we pack all that taste into just 96 calories. Well, that's a mystery you don't need to solve, you just get to enjoy. Spelled different because it's made different."
"Forty years ago, they thought it was impossible to brew a great-tasting light beer. So we got to brewing and told them to 'Sip on this.' The original light beer. Spelled different because it's brewed different."
In all the ads, the "spelled different" part is self-evident (if not particularly potent since, if that's what's remembered from the ads as we expect, it's pretty much going to prompt a "So what?" response.) Not so with the other half of the tagline. The audience never hears or sees how the beer is "made (or brewed) different?" That's "the mystery" these ads should've resolved.
And it gets still worse.
In the two most recent ads, the announcer focuses on advertising currently being run by... Bud Light! In one, the entire Bud Light tagline is quoted word for word. Yes, we have lambasted the idiotic Bud Light ad campaign ourselves, but here's the difference: We're not trying to sell you our brand of beer at the same time!
Why ask people to think about Bud Light when you're trying to sell them Miller Lite?
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake."
And one final suggestion: A solid product-distinctiveness strategy is not about simply reciting miscellaneous facts about your brand; it's about an advertising idea that dramatizes how your brand is different, and supports that with product facts.
You know, like...
Bud Light ended their ad campaign
two weeks after this article ran.