As a male of certain demographic construct who watches too much sports on TV, I find myself at the mercy of domestic brewers with gargantuan media budgets. Maybe the beer-ad barrage wouldn't be so jarring if I didn't consistently tend to my needs prior to the opening tip/first pitch/delivery of the first stone. Because really -- what kind of dude sits down to watch a game, encircles himself in cured meats and artificially jalapeno'd chips, catches the afternoon's first Coors Light ad and only THEN proclaims, "Sweet honey in the rock! I'm out of beer!"?
Beer comes first. Everyone knows this. They teach it in middle school nowadays.
The ads keep getting dimmer and dimmer (not a particularly novel complaint, I know). They specify the number of hops, as if the target audience is keeping count, or can count. They suggest that it's difficult to tell whether a beer is cold without consulting a color-coded container (dark blue = cold beer in bottle/suitable for drinking, light blue = warm fertilizer runoff in bottle/not suitable for drinking). They traffic in concepts like "drinkability," which I take to mean that "this product, which is designed to be taken into the mouth for swallowing -- to be "drunk," so to speak -- is suitable for that very use."
Granted, these ads are targeted at 20-something dudes mostly concerned with the acts of pheromone emission and reception. As such, bemoaning their dim-bulbiness is like bemoaning the prevalence of horseback riding on the beach in tampon ads: That's the way it always has been, so that's the way it always shall be.
Which is why my new favorite beermaker is Colorado's Breckenridge Brewery, even though I've never tasted a sip of their wares. Their "Truth in Beervertising" videos subtly savage beer-ad clichés, taking on the bottle-thermometer, hop-counting and specially-designed-bottle silliness. The ads probably cost 800 bucks to produce. Imagine the awesome damage that Breckenridge's marketing firm (Denver-based Cultivator Advertising & Design) could do with the 30-gazillion-dollar annual ad budget lavished upon Coors' firm?
The Breckenridge clips look like they were filmed in about 25 minutes. The guy who appears in them may well have been plucked away from a brewery tour; it wouldn't be surprising to learn that he was paid in liquid happiness. Even so, they are far more effective, in terms of elucidating a brand proposition, than 37,000,000 Bud Light ads in which the protagonist decides to trade his magnificently proportioned girlfriend for an item that can be bought at gas stations for $6.99.
I'm a little late to the game on the Breckenridge videos. They went sorta-viral last weekend when I was out with some college pals, the memory fragments of which are still being reassembled by a crack team of accident reconstructionists and forensic chefs. Nonetheless, these videos are a deadpanner's delight and Breckenridge deserves every bit of the branding boost they'll hopefully get from them.Well, unless Breckenridge beers boast the metallic bite of kerosene soup. Can we get a taste test from somebody out in Colorado? Thanks in advance.