Archive for July, 2010

Entourage Season 7: Product Placement Gone Awry

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Though relying heavily on guest stars, Entourage Season 7 has been a bit of a rebirth and provided some compelling plot twists: Ari as a potential NFL owner, Drama maybe getting a sitcom and E’s impending marriage/work conflict. The plotlines avoid Vince — a good thing because Adrian Grenier isn’t the greatest. The writers get that viewers are sick of the redundant story: Vince is going to do the movie, Vince is not going to do the movie.

girl drinking Budweiser in Entourage

drinking Bud rather than vintage wine is an odd choice

As for product placement, Budweiser is everywhere and it’s absurd. Couldn’t the writers have been a little crafty and written in something about Vince getting a lifetime supply of Bud? That’s the only “plausible” explanation as to why that’s the only beer he has at his house with so many other choices. Who stocks Bud bottles as a go to beer? I’d guess the answer is: hardly anyone. Then to believe that Vince, E, Drama and Turtle drink it without hesitation is kinda far fetched. And to think that model/aspiring actresses do the same is beyond far fetched.

John Stamos and Vincent Chase with Budweiser

Hey look - it's Uncle Jessie!

Another funny part was seeing John Stamos aka. Uncle Jessie getting into the act too. Given his ball-buster personality, it seems odd that he didn’t have a comment when presented with a Bud. Nor was he offered an alternative. If I asked a friend if he or she wanted a beer and I came back with Bud, I’m pretty sure I’d get a funny look, if not a prompt for an explanation .

Tequila Avion in Entourage

the placements continue...

I’m ashamed to say that I was fooled into thinking that Tequila Avion was some fictional product, but a little research cleared things up. Tequila Avion is a premium tequila start-up, presumably positioned to compete with Patron. We can only hope that Turtle’s possible involvement in its marketing isn’t a recurring plotline, rendering Entourage an infomercial. That being said, Tequila Avion just got a multimillion dollar round of financing, so who knows. For those of you wondering, Tequila Avion is available in LA and NYC-area at this point. If Avion never returns to Entourage, its appearance was a nice little product placement campaign because most viewers won’t be sure whether it’s real and if they see it at a bar, maybe will try it. And a memo to InBev or whoever makes Bud now: product placement is a good idea, but choose your partners carefully. Entourage’s appalling lack of subtlety makes what you’re doing obvious and destroys the value.

Will Tequila Avion be a part of Entourage past Episode 4?

  • Yes (90%, 35 Votes)
  • No (10%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 39

Loading ... Loading ...
models drinking Budweiser in Entourage

more model-types drinking Budweiser

Movie Review: Beer Wars

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

“Why is drinking American beer like making love in a canoe?”

Answer: They’re both f*cking near water.

Ok, so I’d heard this joke (said in the beginning of the movie) before. Incidentally, from a Swedish girl whose father was from Ireland. Onto the movie:

Beer Wars (2009) is a documentary narrated by the writer/director, Anat Baron, a former executive at Mike’s Hard Lemonade. It follows the craft beer industry and its fight against the Big 3: Anheuser, Miller and Coors, the latter of whom have since merged. The production is reminiscent of Morgan Spurlock’s work, and whether or not that’s a good thing is up to you. Personally, I found the illustrations a little juvenile / annoying, but then again, I’m picky and prefer information presented as plainly as possible so I can draw my own conclusions. Another minor gripe: I didn’t like the blind taste test. While I suspect that most people have a hard time differentiating Miller Lite from Coors Light and Bud Light, who knows how many people got it right and that footage was cut. Watching on Netflix Instant has the drawback of not seeing the deleted scenes, so I have no idea if they acknowledge that some can distinguish their domestic lights.

I found the part on product placement and the little guys vs the men intereting. The owner of Dogfish Head, noted in a past post, talks about how Bud Light is available in so many different sizes — 6, 12, 18, and 30 — that their aggregate shelf space creates a virtual billboard. Microbrews are generally just sold in 6 packs, so will have little visible shelf space and it’s even worse if they aren’t placed at eye level.

Miller Brewery

location photo from Miller Brewery

Another interesting point was that the supply chain tends to shut out the smaller guys, because the larger players have oligopolistic (sorry for the econ 101 reference) advantage: Carry only our products or you won’t get our business. There’s also some focus on lobbying, but that’s not so interesting, because we all know that big business, regardless of industry, is going to pay for lobbying to protect itself (see: oil/energy, automobiles, banks).

All in all, it’s an interesting movie if you really care about either craft beer or small businesses in general. Otherwise, it’s not terribly engaging.

Sampling American Pale Ales

Friday, July 16th, 2010

So, a little past the halfway point of summer. I’m happy to stay that I still have faith in society: the Bros Icing Bros trend died a few weeks ago. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, that’s ok. If you got iced and responded with anything other than a kidney punch, shame on you.

Anyway, onto the “serious” stuff. NYTimes had an interesting write up on America’s pale ales a few weeks ago. If you can’t tell, I’m an enormous geek and I’ll probably end up citing the Times and the WSJ more often than anything else.

The article intentionally chose beers that are sessionable, ie. session beers, which don’t have super high ABVs. Initially, I mistook session beers to mean binge beers, but there’s sort of a distinction. Session beers generally aren’t mass produced and have somewhat distinctive flavors.

The article was interesting because the #1 beer in terms of the tasters’ opinions was also the most efficient (of those we have information), debunking the idea that flavor and efficiency can’t work together. Also, I’d like to thank Flying Dog for being forthcoming with info. To summarize:

Taste Rank Brand Calories ABV Efficiency
1 Flying Dog Doggie Style Classic 150 5.50% 71.1%
7 Sam Adams Pale Ale 160 5.40% 65.5%
8 Dogfish Head Shelter Pale Ale 158 5.00% 57.8%
out of top 10 Sierra Nevada Pale Ale 176 5.60% 62.1%