That was weak. The gratuitous display of mating plumage at the end didn't help. Whatever, maybe we'll get better owls next year.
So now, to review the commercials. They sucked. Except this one:
It's fucking brilliant!
"But... but OBS!" you ask, startled "Doesn't Budweiser embody everything you hate about American beer and its 'culture' forever and ever, nigh unto eternity?"
Of course it does! But that's what makes this great. This ad proves Budweiser is losing. Just to start with, douchebag mustachioed hipsters don't fuss over craft beer, they guzzle PBR!
But to delve deeper, let's analyze this just a bit. The beginning of the commercial is classic -- we have a small pile of malted barley and a handful of whole hop flowers. Good wholesome ingredients used by fine brewers everywhere. And "beechwood aging" -- so... fancy! But! There are problems with this vision:
- First, Bud doesn't even use whole hop flowers. They use hop oil extracts. They buy giant batches of hops that have been crushed and had their oils extracted, shipped in huge drums. The only thing they care about is the bittering oils that come from hops -- you use whole hops if you want the complex flavors and aromas they contain.
- B: They may use some malted barley, but only the cheapest, crappiest you can buy, bred and malted especially for them to produce the simplest, most flavorless malt you can imagine. And then they actually supplement the hell out of it with rice sugar. 'Cause they're cheap, and American Budweiser drinkers care only for marketing, not beer.
- iii) Yes, Bud is the only beer "Beechwood aged" -- because why the fuck would you age beer in beechwood, you useless shits? So you can say that? Does it impart some sort of delightful woody characters, like a fine wine might show its oak? No! It's a pure gimmick, nothing more.
"OK, OBS, we get that you think that's stupid, but you said this commercial is great!?"
Yes, yes I did, and it is. Because it means we're winning. Beer drinkers of America finally have amazing choices, all over the country. Doesn't matter what you like (even pumpkin peach ale, whatever the fuck that is -- sounds disgusting), you can get it anywhere. Random Chinese restaurants have multiple craft taps. Convenience stores have stocked shelves of microbrews sitting next to their piles of cheap wine. It's a great time to be a beer drinker. And hell, if you actually like Bud, you could even get a proper American Light Lager, brewed at a locally-owned spot and keep the profits in your region instead of sending them back to Belgium to make more commercials.
Bud knows this. And they're scared.
What they don't tell you in this commercial, is that they're buying up craft breweries as fast as they can. Two unfortunate examples that hit close to home for some of us bloggers (hi Tengrain!) are Elysian brewing of Seattle, and 10 Barrel brewing from Bend, Oregon. Yet they just spent millions on a Superb Owl commercial making fun of the clientele of those breweries. Why? To work both sides, to try to keep the yokels swilling their cheaply-produced shit, while getting a foot in the door with the rapidly growing craft brewing world.
As the (slightly modified) saying goes:
That's why this commercial is so great.