Budweiser to Launch New ‘Millennial’ Beers During Super Bowl

As the Super Bowl approaches, so too does the PR analysis of brands that have chosen to invest many millions into advertising during this unique American spectacle.

All-American beer brand Budweiser (which is owned by Belgians now, BTW) considers the Super Bowl home field. Football and alcohol have long held an uneasy relationship that translates well on television screens but less so in the parking lot after NFL games.

So it’s not surprising–particularly in an environment where microbrews, casks ales and other niche beers are driving consumer climate change–that Anheuser-Busch InBev is once again using the Super Bowl as a platform to promote its new, more sophisticated brands of beer (namely Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire).

The goal, of course, is to reach younger drinkers—yes, Millennials—who don’t have a loyalty to regular Budweiser or an emotional connection the brand’s famed Clydesdales. The target audience, as this article describes them (and oh we love this), is the type of people drawn to “nighttime drinking occasions”. Sorry NASCAR fans, lunchtime strip club goers, and that one drunk uncle we all have. These beers are not for you.

Budweiser employed the same strategy last year with Bud Light Platinum, a high-end brand extension of Bud Light, which must have been a success since they’re using the same strategy to market Black Crown and Sapphire. Will it work?

Hmmm…doubtful. Here’s why: The beer drinking public knows that anytime a beer advertisement focuses on the bottle and not the beer (the Miller Light Vortex bottle, for example) then its goal is to draw attention away from the actual product that we all love.

See, we may be buzzed, but we’re not dumb.

This quote from the brewers of Sapphire describing the coming ad is a little disconcerting: they say the ad will highlight the beer’s “sleek, one-of-kind black bottle, and [feature] a surprise admirer that is mesmerized by its beauty.” Uh oh.

Will these new Super Bowl spots resonate with Millennials? Perhaps. Will they connect with my uncle? Absolutely not.