A-B Ponders Controversial Ad
Jan 15, 2008 - Adweek reports that Anheuser-Busch is considering running advertisements that tout beer over liquor as an alcoholic beverage of choice.
The notion of promoting beer as a drink of moderation is hardly new. Following World War II, the Brewers Foundation commissioned popular magazine artists to produce a series of 115 paintings using the theme "Home life in America" and showing folks socializing at home with beers at hand.
These portraits appeared as advertising in all the popular publications, noting "perhaps no beverages are more 'at home' on more occasions" than American beer. Each included the tagline, "Beer belongs É enjoy it."
However, the A-B messages would be controversial because "they play up the regret factor of a one-night stand following an evening of consuming too many shots and cocktails."
In the spot from the woman's perspective, she wakes up in "Darrellville"-the bedroom of a hairy-chested man in a robe who invites her to "come here and nibble me."
Both spots conclude with screen text: "Minimize the surprise. Stick with beer."
Bob Lachky (vp of global industry) acknowledged that the message is risky and has the potential to offend anti-alcohol activists and stir a hornet's nest within the liquor industry.
The effort should not be viewed as a unilateral attack on the liquor industry. It would be a part of A-B's two-year-old "Here's to beer" initiative.
Adweek reports that A-B has not yet decided if it will release the ads.