Tuesday, February 3, 2015

I'm Not Going to Fuss Over Bud, and Neither Should You

I’ve been sitting back reading some of the responses and reactions to Budweiser’s “Brewed the Hard Way” Superbowl ad.

I’ve read articles noting Anheuser Busch’s hypocrisy, having just purchased Elysian. I’ve read pieces arguing that the ad was a clear, and definitive attack on craft-beer. Some are saying that Budweiser seems to be acknowledging the fact that it’s product is less than premium. I’ve even seen comments comparing the ad to the recent red sate/blue state political discourse in the U.S. of late. The bloggy, twitterverse has been gnashing its digital teeth and wringing its binary hands over the whole affair.

Who cares? Seriously. I sure-as-shit don’t.

I couldn’t care less what Budweiser or AB thinks about good beer. I haven’t drank Budweiser since I was in college. I haven’t given Bud much thought since then, either. I’m not sure what all the hubbub is about. AB is doing what AB has always done—and that is act like a big company by doing all the things big company’s do, and one of those things is turning the discussion towards them.

Ignoring the ad—and not buying their product(s)—sends a stronger message than tweeting pithy, craft-affirming responses to like-minded friends or customers. Which is what AB wanted you to do. They wanted a response. They goaded you. They wanted to rile you up. They wanted to disrupt your craft-drinking worlds, draw you into an argument, and get thousands of people talking about Budweiser. Guess what? It worked. 

But it didn't have to.

I had a coach in high-school who had a philosophy about competition. It was pretty simple. 

Do your job.

By that he meant don’t worry about the other guy. Do your job. Keep your eye on the prize, do what you need to do to be the best. Stay focused on you and your job. If everybody does their own job well, then things work out. The win will come. I think the same can be applied to the Budweiser situation.

Craft beer, and its "enthusiasts" have a tendency to be defensive. One might even say they have an ever-so-slight chip on their shoulder. They might be a bit thinned skinned, too, but they do love a pissing match. But Budweiser, AB and big beer aren't going anywhere. So why waste your breath? For the past 30 years craft beer has relentlessly waged war against big beer, and craft beer is everywhere now. But here's the thing. It’s not craft's manufactured mantra of "big is bad, good is great" that did that. It’s not the marketing and propaganda against big beer that has taken a good-sized bite out of big beer's market share. It was good beer that did it. 

So keep doing that—make good beer, buy good beer.

That’s all you have to do. Don’t worry about the other guy. 

Just do your job.

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