When it comes to Super Bowl ads, Budweiser is often remembered for its cute puppy spots. But this year (in addition to the dog and pony show), Bud pushed its “macro beer” angle, boasting “it’s brewed for drinking, not for dissecting” — while taking what certainly seems to be a jab at craft beer-drinking hipsters.
Some micro-brew lovers saw this ad as an affront. But those with an eye on the beer industry, including Brew York editor Chris O’Leary, saw the commercial more as Budweiser’s desperate response to its rapidly declining sales.
Bud’s domestic sales are down 28 percent over the last five years. 44 percent of beer drinkers 27 and younger say they’ve never tried the drink. While the three big brands — Budweiser, Miller and Coors — still dominate overall sales (craft beer only had a 7.8 percent market share in 2013), they are certainly in decline.
And its for those same reasons that some see the new Bud ad as risky — can the company afford to alienate those young consumers? To top it off, the commercial takes a specific jab at “pumpkin peach ale” — perhaps forgetting that its parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, recently announced a takeover of Elysian, a Seattle brewery that not long ago produced a pecan peach pumpkin ale. Oops.
Hear more from O’Leary about Budweiser’s conundrum on The Michael Smerconish Program: