Budweiser has had, in my lifetime, some of the most successful advertising campaigns in any medium. “Wazzup!?,” the frogs croaking “Bud-wise-er,” and the horses lining up to kick a field goal 1 are all stuck in my mind. And who can forget Bud Bowl 2?
At present, Bud Light has one of the most popular ad campaigns ever run, “Dilly! Dilly!”
The campaign is brilliant. It’s got great characters, funny mis-directions, and great punchlines. I’ve also got a special spot in my heart for the campaign since last season they did a special “Philly! Philly!” ad with the king, and gave Eagles fans a statue based on what is perhaps the greatest play call in Eagles’ history 3.
And the whole thing is a distraction. To be fair, all advertising is a distraction of sorts. Samsung likes to make fun of Apple products being “so last year.” Apple attempts to do high art to sell their very expensive products to the masses 4. Churches say how wonderful they are, and show how what they do is exciting 5. And all these ads distract people from the warts of the products being sold 6. But no one pulls off the distraction while simultaneously telling the truth about the product like Bug Light.
The entire “Dilly! Dilly!” campaign could be summed up with, “Our beer is lousy, and anyone with any sort of palate for beer rightly thinks it’s awful, but screw those snobs and down our swill 7.”
The literal tag line is, “Bud Lite is for the many. Not the few 8.”
So my hat is off to Budweiser for managing to tell the truth about their flavorless product and managing to somehow use it’s low quality as a selling point.
At the same time, the ease with which we can be distracted is depressing. Distraction to sell bad beer is one thing, distraction used to undermine objective reality 9 in real life is something else all together.
- “They usually go for two. ↩
- Which was often better than the actual game. ↩
- “You want Philly, Philly?” ↩
- And, complain about the prices as we might, since they’ve never played “dodge the low margins” they have a place to go with their future – which should be bringing consumer costs back out of the stratosphere while still making a decent profit. ↩
- But never seem to show the inner struggles the congregation faces for some reason. ↩
- Like Samsung’s penchant for selling designs that tend to explode more often than is considered “normal.” And how crazy is it is that there is an amount of exploding batters that is considered “normal?” We carry these things in our pockets! ↩
- I mean, have they ever had mead? That stuff is delicious. ↩
- Or, “Shut up and be a lemming.” ↩
- The sky is blue, Winter in Minnesota is cold, Budweiser makes flavorless swill, and shutting down the government for a vanity project is stupid. ↩