Wednesday, November 26, 2014

They Shoot Horses Here, Don't They?

The powers that be who run Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewing conglomerate that brings those of us who drink beer such middling to downright awful beer, including but not limited to Budweiser and Bud Light, have decided that the reason for their products' declining market share as well as its status as a sudsy pariah among beer drinkers 21 to 27 is its reliance upon its team of Clydesdales in its advertising.  

You did not misread the preceding paragraph.  According to an article that appeared on the Wall Street Journal's web site on Sunday, November 23, 2014, the brewer has decided that its non-existent market share among that age group of beer drinkers is due to its reliance on dated advertising.  Yep.  It turns out that it is all the fault of the Clydesdales.   

As someone decidedly older than your newly-targeted demographic who has not willingly consumed a Budweiser product since I was somewhere between age 21 and age 27, allow me to shed some light on what your problem actually is, Anheuser-Busch and in doing so, allow me to paraphrase the Ragin' Cajun James Carville, 

IT IS THE BEER, STUPID! 

Once upon a time you might very well have been the "King of Beers".  No longer.  There are far too many excellent small and even craft-sized brewers of beer in these United States - hell in Fort Collins, Colorado alone (a city of approximately 150,000 people) there are more than one dozen - for people to waste their hard-earned money drinking bad-tasting, poor-quality beer.   I, for one, would much rather enjoy something brewed by the Boston Beer Company, the Brooklyn Brewery, Leinenkugel's, Dogfish or either of my two favorite Fort Collins breweries:  New Belgium or Odell than anything Budweiser brews. 

If it is any consolation to you, your brains are not getting beaten in by fancy imports.  Nope.  Brewing excellent, high-quality beer has become an American pastime from coast-to-coast.  Once upon a time, when you were the 800 pound gorilla on the block, you could sustain your market share irrespective of the caliber of swill you produced.  Those days are long gone.  The likelihood of them coming back is very, very slim.  

Blaming the Clydesdales for Anheuser-Busch's declining market share is a move straight out of the Don Lemon playbook.   The problem is most assuredly not those majestic animals or the use of them in some of the most memorable pieces of advertising that have been aired on American television in the 21st century, including but not limited to this one:




Until Anheuser-Busch confronts headlong the fact that what spelled disaster for them was not reliance upon, in their advertising, the horses pulling their beer wagons but - instead - the quality of the product being carried on those wagons, the battle they are losing is one that they shall continue to lose.  And they shall continue to lose it for the most American of all reasons...

...they deserve to.  

-AK 



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