Interesting article in today’s Wall Street Journal. Eric Felten, who is a regular drink columnist, hypothesizes why Bud Light Sales are off 5.3% and Miller Lite off 7.5%. After establishing the beers are about equally crappy, he says maybe the drop in sales is due to:
- The economy
- Better public awareness of dull flavor
- Bad Advertising
The economy argument is tough to make without knowing sales of more discounted brands like Natty Light or Ice to see if consumers were substituting. Better awareness of flavor — maybe can explain a little bit of the change, but the slow shift to craft beer is not going to have this sort of impact so quickly.
The advertising argument is kind of interesting. I remember back when Bud Light had the “Wassup” commercials. Those were effective. I asked my friend’s 11 year old brother what those commercials were advertising and he immediately said Bud Light. As Felton points out, the Miller Lite ads where guy ignores his attractive girlfriend for his beer are idiotic. And the Coors Light selling point of the blue mountains for coldness is likewise idiotic. Treating your customers like idiots is a bad strategy.
Lastly is the Spanx argument. I wasn’t familiar with Spanx until recently and I’m not really sure what to think except that I can’t see it becoming mainstream. I just don’t see the point of taking a stance of “F it” — I’m going to be a slob and try to cover it up when clothed. For the ladies out there — if you were undressing a guy for the first time and learned he was wearing this, would that be a mood killer?
There are ways to minimize drinking’s effect on the body. Don’t drink too many inefficient beers — you can always switch over after a few tasty inefficient ones and are less discerning and opt for dry wines and mixed drinks with low calorie mixers.