Sunday, April 01, 2007
But White Castle doesn't serve beer.
My sporadic forays into television viewing are reserved for big ticket sporting events, and because these come along quite seldom, I’m spared the inevitable mind softening that accompanies the tube as universal American babysitter.
Whether it’s been six months or six days between viewings, the seemingly unalterable six-pack advertising mentality of America’s bloated corporate megabrewers never ceases to amaze – apparently owing to a target consumer group’s infinite capacity for self-abnegation – or, put simply, dumbing down.
So it was that last evening I saw SAB Miller’s new High Life blurb, wherein a Miller beer truck hurries to a posh eatery to rescue cases of High Life. In such a manner is swill being duly re-globalized owing to the unpardonable sin of being sold at the kind of joint that would vend an $11.50 hamburger.
I’m so old that I can remember just a few years ago, when Miller’s own supermarket positioning and pricing decisions for High Life came very close to destroying the brand’s value, but attention spans apparently are short in American corporate brewing’s inner sanctums.
Permit me to note (yet again) that many, perhaps even most, of the neo-prohibitionist regulatory difficulties faced by all segments of the beer business stem entirely from megabrewing’s stubborn insistence on low common denominator advertising strategies: Cheap beer as the virtual guarantor of anti-social behavior.
Up market wins; down market loses. The wine people understand it. Can you name a single wine maker at any price range who would poke fun at an up-scale eatery’s decision to include it on the wine list?