GarbageTalk: The SuperBowl Commercials – My Interview with Budweiser’s Marketing Spokesperson

Yesterday, I alluded to the fact that I thought this year’s Budweiser Super Bowl ad featuring a dog that has to find his way back home only to be accosted by a wolf and saved by horses was terrible.  My main problem is that I do not believe it hits the right demographic.  Perhaps since the Timberlake-Jackson half-time action, Budweiser has decided to take a different tact with marketing, perhaps they just have highly sophisticated algorithms that they blindly follow that inform them how to sell beer, or perhaps they are trying to take a page out of Spud Mackenzie’s playbook, though they clearly have not ever watched those commercials.  To investigate further, I sat down with a marketing spokesperson from Budweiser to get to try and understand.  Here is the interview.

JK: Hello Marcus, Boyd is it?  May I call you Markus?
MB: Sure.
JK: Ok, Great.  Thank you for agreeing to sit down with me, Marcus.
MB: No problem. Any opportunity to explain the marketing behind our fine products is a welcome one from Budweiser’s perspective.
JK: Fabulous. Let’s get started then. Now all of America is curious, and I know you are very busy, so I am just going to jump to the elephant in the room if that’s OK with you and ask you to explain the concept behind this year’s Super Bowl Budweiser commercial.
MB: Absolutely. As you may know, Budweiser considers itself a responsible and ethical company.  And so as part of that ethos we seek in our marketing strategies to marry concepts that are fundamentally American core values.  Of course those concepts are
JK: Hold on there Marcus. Did I hear you say that Budweiser considers itself a responsible company?
MB: Yes, that’s right.
JK: You do know you sell beer, right? Oh wait, when you say responsible, are you referring to the fact that you also sell non-alcoholic beer to those that enjoy the taste of beer but for one reason or another cannot drink it?
MB: Oh, no no no.
JK: Oh good because that nonalcoholic stuff is awful.  I don’t know who drinks that stuff.
MB: Ok.  Let me explain.  What I am trying to convey when I say we are a responsible company is that having a beer or two is OK, but we don’t condone imbibing in excess.  And so, getting back to our marketing tactics, our goal is to promote responsible drinking, enjoyability of alcohol both on macro and micro level and international brand awareness, which I think is nicely captured by our social media handle #bestbuds.
JK: I have no idea what you just said so let me focus on your #bestbuds promotion. What is that meant to convey Marcus?
MB: Sure. That’s easy. Consistent with the three concepts I just discussed it promotes our Budweiser brand that incidentally is commonly known as “Bud,” especially overseas where it is sold as “Bud” and not Budweiser.  And of course we married that concept with what we all know to be man’s best buddy, or “bud,” dogs.  It’s really simple.  In one hashtag we have promoted our brand on an international level, raised awareness by not focusing on the traditional tactics of partying and women, and brought enjoyability to all by filming dogs being saved by the Budweiser Clydesdales, followed by the dog leading the charge back to his owner.  I mean, if that doesn’t sell Bud, what will?  Genius right?
JK: Ah hem. Marcus, that’s interesting.  I love your enthusiasm, but, I mean, when I saw #bestbuds I thought of something completely different.
MB: Really? What’s that?
JK: Frankly, err, l thought Budweiser was getting into the weed business; that you were going to be the first big corporate player in the cannabis industry and try to take it nationwide. Or, I guess I also that maybe you were using it to convey that if you drink bud, you will get high or something.
MB: What?  Ha.  You’re going to have to explain that one.  What the hell?
JK: Marcus, you never heard of cannabis referred to as “buds” before?  I mean, you also have another commercial that says “Don’t forget your Buds.”  I mean, it isn’t a crazy leap to make that association.  Where did you do your commercial testing before embarking on this campaign?
MB: We did our testing where we always do our testing.  Colorado and Washington.  Last market testing before that was in 2009.  This testing was 2013 and everyone loved it!

JK: Mm, hmmm. You do know that those states are probably not the best testing ground for an international “bud” campaign that is not focused on marijuana, right?
MB: Balderdash. This interview is over. To think anyone would associate buds or whatever you call marijuana with Budweiser is ludicrous!
JK: Marcus, clearly you are upset.  Just tell me the dog’s name is not Mary Jane.
MB: Damn you Kirkland, his name is Skywalker!  Let me tell you something else, you are finished.  You will never ever get another interview from us.
JK: I’m sorry you feel that way.  I’m just trying to bring some understanding to America of what I see to be a poorly thought out and executed commercial and campaign. If you change your mind or want to bounce some new marketing ideas off me I’ve got some good ones.
MB: I’m leaving. Good day sir.

Well folks, that did not go as planned.  Guess Budweiser has a handle on its hash tag bestbuds campaign.  Nevertheless, I still think the commercial stinks and it does not make me want to buy a six pack of Budweiser.  Ah well.

Stay tuned for more GarbageTalk, America!

By John Kirkland

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