In addition to gobbling up every brewery it can find, Anheuser-Busch InBev is continuing to unleash the advertising hounds on the world. While a good chunk of their increased spending can be attributed to the new deal with the NFL, their global reach is having them creep closer and closer to the soft drink behemoths.
The spending numbers for AB Inbev reflect an increase of somewhere in the range of $30-40 million from 2010. Now with Bud Light being the official beer of the NFL, you can be assured that they will continue to spread that word by any means necessary.
Now for our other matter at hand. The morning after a recent neighborhood gathering, I opened my cooler to discover two very blue bottles that weren’t in there when I packed it the day before. I can’t be certain if this is a new guerrilla marketing campaign or someone that needed a cold spot but either way I had to try. I was recently in a local liquor store staring mindlessly into the coolers trying to make a selection for the night when I had this exchange with the cashier:
Cashier – Whatchu looking for?
Me – Not sure, want a six pack of something different tonight.
C – You try Bud Light Platinum
M – Naah, not really my style plus I’m looking for something a little heavier
C – But it’s Platinum
M – Come again
C – It’s platinum so it’s heavier than regular Bud Light, I can’t keep it on the shelves
M – So this is a popular beer?
C – Whenever we get a shipment we sell right out hun.
Now I’ll admit with such a ringing endorsement how could I not consider this fine beverage? Well there is no way in h-e double hockey sticks I was buying it but it put it in the back of my mind (maybe she was in on the AB plan as well-this thing goes deep). Fast forward a few weeks later and here I am with this bottle that immediately gained the attention of everyone around me.
For those that haven’t seen the numbers, craft beer is making enough of a dent in the big boys that they will try anything possible to sway people into their brews. Basically Bud Light Platinum is a higher alcohol version of the standard Bud Light in a pretty blue bottle. To me this is putting lipstick on a bulldog. On their site they claim BLP has “reinvented the category of light beer”. Stop it-no it didn’t. The beer lover in my wants to kick this statement square in the (insert delicate body part). If you like Bud Light, you are going to like Platinum. If you don’t like Bud Light then, well, you can make an intelligent conclusion on your own. I did notice that it had a little more oomph but not much. Also noticed it had a little sweetness to it.
My issue here isn’t with mass produced beer, as much as I bash it still has a big place in my drinking atmosphere. My problem is slapping a much higher price tag on something that doesn’t deserve it and passing it off as premium. I’ll let everyone make their own decision but it takes more than a fancy blue bottle to have a good product. In the end this may backfire, they are touting this almost as an upscale alternative to Bud Light…will the fans of the brand see that as a slap in the face or a chance to be a little fancy? Time will tell.