Aiming for classy, AB’s Black Crown defines modern vulgarity in new print campaign.
April 22, 2013
Flipping through magazines the other day, I discovered a new print ad for yet another Anheuser Busch beer product, this one called Black Crown -partly because it is made with caramel malt and partly because, I suppose to the brewery, it sounded cool.
When coming across new ads, I tend to read the body copy and this one was no exception. Take note of the following sentence. “Toasted, chosen and handpicked by the loud the savvy and the famous.” Huh? What the hell does that even mean? On a literal level, the first three verbs confuse because they are identical to language used when describing the process of making beer. Here, however, it means something else, perhaps far worse than brew-making clichés. Finish the line. Take a look at those three adjectives: “loud, savvy and famous.” If that’s not a definition for “douchebag” I don’t know what is.
Loud? Are they kidding? Since when is being loud indicative of good quality? And how on earth does it juxtapose with savvy? Oh, I know. When you’re famous. Like the Kardashians.
I hate this copy so much. Not only is it attitudinal and hyperbolic but it flags poseur for both the beer and the drinker. Having worked on advertising for AB and Miller Coors, I know firsthand the client is either oblivious to this vulgarity or, in truth, encourages it. They’ve spent billions of marketing dollars cultivated the poseur alpha male and made beer after beer just for him.
Here’s my take on what Black Crown is really saying: Dude- If you’re a backward-baseball cap wearing, collar popping white male who thinks he’s a player this is the beer for you! Show you’re frat buds that you’ve most def arrived by paying 75 cents more for a bottle of beer. Black Crown tastes like Guinness, only stupider!
I get it. AB wants guys to think drinking Black Crown is a privilege, like getting into the VIP room at some awful nightclub. Fine. But if loud, savvy and famous is the new definition of quality then we are in big trouble.