Looks like it's finally begun in earnest. While kicking back and watching the first half of the Patriots/Steelers game, I happened to catch a Michelob commercial. Now, I've heard talk that Anheuser-Busch was going to start marketing Michelob as their "craft beer" line, which seems to be part of something I've already mentioned.
The ad itself was a hybrid of the Sam Adams approach, introducing people who take part in the brewing process and the ingredients, and the Coors approach of sticking to tradition, and the people who work the land, etc. A farmer tells us about how important barley is ("Hops are for beer what grapes are to wine" sound familiar?), and there's a nod to the company's AmberBock. Still, it leaned more toward the Boston Beer Company side in its content, editing/flow, and appearance.
Okay, fine. I'm glad Michelob is trying to improve their image, and perhaps the image of beer overall. I'd simply prefer better beer. Here's To Beer and all of that kind of face-time for the beverage is great, and it may lead to the public looking at beer in a more dignified light. No problem there. But personally, I think A-B's motives are a little more profit-related here, since they're directly marketing one of their product lines in such a manner.
I understand that's how it works; that's how a lot of businesses operate. They're in it to increase profits and keep shareholders happy, and that revolves around the way the company and its products are portrayed.
There's an interesting tagline that appears at the end of the commercial; Michelob proclaims that it's "Crafting a Better Beer." Wordplay can be tricky, and that's what advertisers get paid for: attempting to sell the public on an image. Crafting a Better Beer seems an awful lot like the phrase "craft beer," and with consumers demanding more flavor and variety, this works to A-B's advantage.
My question is: how good is the actual beer? The proof is in the pudding, so sell me on a sample, not a gimmick.
While typing this post, I came across an article written by George Lenker a few days ago on this very topic.