AB InBev Plays the Underdog at Super Bowl LI

The beer business story heading into the Super Bowl this year is all about Budweiser. As you likely already know, it’s not about the beer, but the statement made by one of their commercials. Of course, there are very likely to be other commercials in their portfolio with crass humor, talking animals or celebrities. The marketing department at Anheuser-Busch gets the most our of their budget allocation from the mothership. And the commercial itself is a huge uppercut from an underdog challenger, which is an unusual position for the giant known as Budweiser. But the champ here is the one in the White House and all his fans, who were previously the underdog as well.

Wait, maybe I should have used a football analogy, like last place team with a 2nd string quarterback against a top ranked defense that completes a deep post pattern to an undrafted wide out on the first set of downs in a game. Hope that was Super Bowl-ish enough.

With AB getting bought by InBev, there is an association of America’s Beer now being run by Belgians. But AB is very independent of InBev, with operations really being autonomous and more supply chain, brand proliferation and volume based cost incentives really being the overall impact. Bud really should still be identified as America’s beer in the same way Fiat Chrysler should still be considered part of the American Big Three and not an Italian run Dutch conglomerate.

But craft beer really is taking up shelf and tap space, digging into the pockets of America’s beer. That’s one of the reasons they’ve been buying up some craft breweries. And with the trend of craft beer often being identified as “local”, and with the US being as divided about their home territories as much as it is today, America just isn’t local enough. Even naming your beer “America” isn’t going to work.

This brings us to a great entry into the category in their commercial portfolio of the nostalgic and heart string tugging offerings, which usually involved a man’s relationship with a horse. This time, they tried to bring the point home of this supposed foreign beer company taking over America’s beer with a fictitious representation of how Adolphus Busch arrived from Germany and met Eberhard Anheuser.

This could be called out as alternative facts or just plain based on true events, but it is a valiant ploy to just say that people will persevere against all odds when they have the initiative to make good beer. How AB InBev will continue to come from the outside to America to keep making good beer in the country it started in.

It is said this commercial was made and approved well before Trump won. And it’s story is just as much about defying what would be foreign interest beer by making and accepting something as your own. People only latched on to the one line spoken by a character in a commercial passing by the main protagonist. And everything is now politicized. Stances must be taken. People’s own opinions must be applied. So it’s time to boycott America’s beer because of outsiders pushing their agenda on tried and true Americans.

It’s beer people. Enjoy it. If there will be a Corona beer commercial shown during the Super Bowl will there be the same backlash with the current white house stance against Mexico? Wait, Corona is Modelo and Constellation that’s run by AB InBev. Maybe people will just drink Coors. Right, their part of SABMiller that is now part of AB InBev. I guess it’s craft beer time for everyone with the inevitable boycot on all AB InBev beers. If only someone did the research to support their political stances.

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