While driving the high double digit hours in the van from RI to WV to GA to VA to RI I spent a good amount of time thinking about how ingenious the marketers of beer are. This theme was further highlighted when InBev purchased Anheuser-Busch this week.
Here are my reasons why the smartest people in America are in the halls of beer marketing buildings (initially this thought was a lament that they were there and not helping mainline churches employ some skilled marketing).
1. They were able to take a diet drink and market it to men but not call it a diet drink. All diet beers are called Light not diet, which they truly are. What other food or beverage has been able to pull this off? None. No man, no matter how masculine and macho they are has a problem approaching a bar and ordering a (fill in the blank of your favorite beer maker ) Light.
2. The recent product development of Light beer with "real" Lime. The other day while I was perusing the beer selection at the local liquor store a man came up to the cooler and got a case out which appeared an odd greenish color. Another gentlemen who was right near asked "Is that stuff any good?" The future purchaser of the case said "Oh yeah, this stuff is great after a day in the hot sun, and you know it has real lime in it."
While back in WV I went out to lunch with my brother-in-law at a local establishment (which is an offshoot of an original restaurant that I used to work at, so did my b-i-l). My b-i-l ordered us a round of the blank Light with Lime. I gotta admit, it wasn't all that bad - a nice beverage choice on a hot humid day. My b-i-l hit the nail on the head when he remarked "it is like throwing down lemonade." It was. (Just for the record WV and MS beer have the lowest alcohol contents in the nation).
What genius, take a drink and put "real lime" in it to hit Corona right in the kisser.
3. While on vacation I ordered a PBR to go with my pulled pork BBQ sandwich, the cost of the brew was $2 for a pint. That means a six pack of PBR would then run $12.00. Can you imagine paying $12 for a six pack of PBR, but yet no one thinks anything of it. Most of us will gladly spend $2 to $3 for a bottle of beer or a draft beer while at a restaurant. That is pure genius. Why does this happen? Restaurants make the most money on the markup of alcoholic beverages, they buy beer at a discounted rate then charge at least 300% more for it. Nevertheless the PBR went down well with my sandwich. (also, if you haven't noticed PBR is now an underwriter of NPR, another genius move - make NPR listeners think PBR is a hip alternative to craft beer and somehow above other mass produced beers.)