Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Stupor Bowl advertising memories, attendant controversies, and the empire of wet air.


As noted in NFL: Humorous beer commercials crack open a controversy, by Joe Lapointe of the New York Times, beer is the most advertised product during the Stupor Bowl, America’s annual national sports Sunday holiday from reality.

As Lapointe’s article reveals, there is another side to the ubiquity of megabrew advertising. Some researchers contend that certain of the ads “associate alcohol with destruction,” and others that “youth who saw more alcohol advertisements on average drank more.”

And here I thought that they were merely numbingly stupid, but to be honest, even the Curmudgeon laughed at Anheuser-Busch’s “magic fridge” spot.

During the now mercifully concluded NFL campaign, I watched not more than three downs of any regular season or playoff game until the Stupor Bowl finale, which was viewed from beginning to end with the not unappreciated assistance of close friends, a pot of chili, a growler of Schlenkerla Rauchbier Marzen and a six-pack of Founders Red’s Rye.

The most annoying of all the A-B shill pieces was the one heralding the birth of a dark AND light beer, Michelob Ultra Amber, perhaps also known as the Q-38 Beer Simulator, which may or may not be any number of things, but that most assuredly is not the first “light dark-colored beer.”

There’s this style called Mild, and it is still brewed in England … aw, never mind. I suppose such a product does in fact appear to be revolutionary when viewed in the context of lifelong Lite lappers.

Previously, in Coors Light – Always better the second time around (May 9, 2005), the Curmudgeon explored the topic of megabrewery television advertising.

Last week, (my wife) asked why television advertisements for America’s “Big Three” multinational megabrewers invariably insult the intelligence (a term I use guardedly) of their own loyal consumers, depicting them variously as leering lechers, bumbling simpletons, and graceless bobble-heads.

Then, as now, there’s no clear answer.

It remains the height of disingenuous prattle for the megabreweries and their sycophant ad agencies to deny that children watch beer ads and form opinions from them that may influence choices later in life.

At the same time, the closer proximity of living, breathing and sometimes vomiting role models surely plays a larger part in this process.

Televised depictions of swill-addled morons almost certainly exalt violence and anti-social behavior, but probably no more so than the 75% or more of motorized vehicle advertisements, which invariably tout the destruction of topsoil and the absorption of impact by comets as the very epitome of the driving experience.

Not to mention video games and the latest offerings at the megaplex.

Does the existence of these advertisements preface the persistent American disdain for education, or is it the other way around?

There’s one to consider over an aluminum-clad, low-calorie, alcohol-delivery device – just don’t forget your bag ‘o’ Big Bufords.

2 comments:

Mat Gerdenich, Cavalier Distributing said...

I heard a spot on NPR a few weeks before the Super Bowl about "Macro Swill" advertising. The jist was that the American beer drinker is growing up and is now more sophisticated and that budmillercoors was going to up grade there ads to appeal to this grown up beer drinker. I will believe it when I see it. However I suspect that the grown up more sophisticated beer drinker has moved on to another level and is fueling the rapid growth of quality craft and imported beer.

Mat Gerdenich

Richard Rush said...

Yeah, but my beloved Steelers got "one for the thumb", so all is good in my world.