Bad Ads: Bud Light Commercials

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Beer commercials from the major breweries seldom make much sense. Miller Light ads have highlighted their “vortex bottles”1:

Miller Lite's Vortex Bottle
Specially designed!

While commercials from Coors Light have long been pitching their beer based on its temperature2:

Angry Captain Picard Yells at Coors
Samuel Adams’ slogan tells you to “Take pride in your beer”.
Coors wants you to take pride in your refrigerator.

The beers simply aren’t sold on their own merits, and flavor and quality tend to go unmentioned. Instead, style and gimmicks are clearly the rule of the day, which lends itself to all manner of stupidity.

A case in point is Bud Light’s recent ads featuring Stevie Wonder’s fantastic song “Superstition”. The spots (such as this one3) celebrate football fans engaging in various rituals intended to give their preferred teams good luck, all while drinking Bud Light, of course.

You likely know Wonder’s classic, but do you know the lyrics? Admittedly, the funky jam’s words are not terribly meaningful or important. Nevertheless, the song clearly spells out a message: superstition is a silly thing with negative consequences. Here’s the chorus:

When you believe in things that you don’t understand,
Then you suffer.
Superstition ain’t the way.

Showing your customers engaged in superstition while playing a song scorning that behavior doesn’t really seem like a great message for selling beer. Then again, maybe someone at the ad agency knows exactly what they’re doing, and we’re seeing a truly honest commercial. After all, the folks shown believing in superstition are all stuck choking down Bud Light. It’s difficult to imagine worse suffering than that.


Footnotes:

  1. “Well, it’s got grooves.

  2. Presumably so that it’s cold enough that you don’t actually have to taste it.

  3. Archived here.


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