Marketing on the Defensive: Beer and Computers

I just caught Budweiser's 2015 Super Bowl commercial for the first time. If you haven't already seen it; they more or less appeal to their perceived authenticity in the brewing world, then somewhat disparage micro breweries (and their fans) for being too persnickety and fussing over the details of the beverage experience.

It caught my interest because typically, it's the little guys who use what's called Comparative Advertising. Pepsi promotes the Pepsi Challenge (against Coca-Cola who made nearly $2 billion more than Pepsi in 2013), Burger King offers the Big King sandwich (as a competitor to McDonald's Big Mac), and even Apple compared themselves to PCs¹ in a long running campaign.

The last example is notable, because the tables seem to have turned in the last few years. Apple now has the largest market cap of any company in the world. There has been plenty said about that transition, so I won't go into that here.

My two main takeaways here are a) Budweiser sees itself as the underdog here, so much so that b) they decided to forego the usual Super Bowl hooks of their popular narratives for this commercial. 

One last thing worth noting: Budweiser also mentions "pumpkin peach ale" as an example of a snobby micro brew, but Anheuser-Busch's brands distribute eight pumpkin and/or pumpkin spice beer varieties, seven of them either through their own micro brew brand or through micro brewery acquisitions.


¹I linked the UK versions of those Get a Mac commercials because I'm a big fan of the duo in those commercials, known as Mitchell and Webb.

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