Some people become highly offended when they see the design of the U.S. flag fashioned into clothing or other apparel for children, men and women particularly if the red, white and blue are covering sensitive areas of the body.
It’s hard to imagine that people’s reaction to Budweiser rebranding itself “America” would be anything close to “whatever.”
For the Fourth of July, U.S. patriotism surrounding the Olympics and the November presidential election, Anheuser-Busch InBev plans to not only switch out the “Budweiser” label for “America” with beer container label maintaining the same look, but the company also will fill the label with the added verbiage of “Land of the free,” “Home of the brave,” “Liberty and justice for all” and “Indivisible since 1776.”
“U.S.” will be in the diamond on the can instead of “A.B.,” and the label will even have the first four bars of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” a tune that originally was a barroom, drinking song anyway.
It’s an advertising, marketing gimmick. A lot of people are hoping it doesn’t backfire.
Anheuser-Busch used to be an unshakable American institution. Adolphus Busch founded the beer company in 1852 in St. Louis, where Busch beers were viewed alongside treated water from the Mississippi River as a satisfying thirst quencher.
But the company in 2008 was purchased by InBev, a beer conglomerate based in Belgium and Brazil. That caused some serious beer drinkers to raise a wary eyebrow over Budweiser and Busch being a trusted all-American product.
The beer-maker’s advertising team continues to push to keep the company and its products’ all-American image.
But it is hard to imagine presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump having a Bud, or er, popping the top of an “America” to toast his next primary victory. The New York billionaire seems more of a micro-brew or specialty beer kind of guy when he’s not drinking vintage, well-aged Scotch.
It’s just as crazy to think of a can of “America” at the lips of Democratic presidential front-rummer Hillary Clinton. She seems more like a fine-wine consumer. Clinton’s rival Sen. Bernie Sanders would rail against the thought of being exploited by a multinational corporation’s marketing gimmick.
But it is understandable to see why the advertising team for the beer-maker would go out on the limb of patriotism. Ad guys are up against the beer market being incredibly competitive. Anheuser-Busch last year announced plans to buy SABMiller, the No. 2 beer company, which brews Miller Genuine Draft.
The giant beer companies face increasing competition from smaller brewers. The merger never happened.
Marketing now is carrying the ball to try to increase Budweiser’s market share or at least keep it from going as flat and tasteless as a beer that has been left open and unconsumed for too long.
The company is seeking approval from the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau for the new label. If granted, the makeover could work.
Or it could turn into the type of massive marketing mistake that journalism schools will recount to students for decades.