Monday, June 04, 2007

Bad call.

To my mind, the most noteworthy bastardization in mass-market beer advertising this year has been SABMiller’s garish celebration of the many awards won by its flagship, Miller Lite.

Television spots that show gleaming trophies morphing into bottles of beer are a reminder of what the late Dr. Goebbels told us: Make the lie so immense that it becomes oddly believable – and sit back as the ensuing wet air is joyfully swallowed by millions.

Among these ads, I like the suitably totalitarian vision of thousands of industrially brewed Miller Lite units rolling through one of the company’s sterile beer factories as immaculately dressed employees gather to celebrate another first place finish in the World Beer Championships.

The category? American-style Light Lager, of course.

Such a triumph may seem impressive, but it helps to know how such a product comes to be declared a winner. When it comes to beer styles and competitions, various governing authorities have created made-for-mass-market-swill categories that are among the more surreal in the beer judging pantheon.

Why stoop? See “800-lb gorillas: Megabrewing division” for the answer.

The American-style light lager designation calls for the judge to carefully gauge all things that differentiate beer from soda pop – body, flavor, malt, hops – and then to determine whether the light beer in question has had each component ruthlessly purged.

Consequently, the most un-beer-like of the contestants is declared the champion … the festive banners are hoisted … and the subsequent marketing campaign chases the approbation (and dollars) of the clueless.

A female acquaintance once noted that drinking light beer is indeed comparable to love on the beach, but with no hope of orgasm – something she said was far too common in her life without it interfering with her beer.

1 comment:

lasoski said...

I thought SOTB was one of those things you only tried once--with or without orgasm.

I wish that's how light/lite beers were too.