Wednesday, May 10, 2006
Budweiser is one of the official sponsors of next month's World Cup, but it's run into a fairly substantial stumbling block. In Germany, where the tournament is taking place, they know a bit about beer, and the American brew is a bit of a joke, albeit a weak one.
"We understand that taste is an important part of the product beer," says Tony Ponturo, vice president of Anheuser-Busch, "and Europeans, particularly Germans, like a stronger, more bitter kind of product." Well it's jolly good that a senior executive of a beer company has sussed that it's quite important what a beer tastes like, but why the hell are you trying to sell them Budweiser then, Tony? It tastes of nothing. It's not even strong enough to be unpleasant. It isn't the King of Beers, it's the Prince Edward (bland, nondescript and pointless). In Europe, maybe, just maybe, people drink beer because they like drinking beer, not because some marketing catamite has decided that they want to buy into an aspirational lifestyle or somesuch witless drool. Maybe people are finally waking up to the fact that the whole branding phenomenon is an attempt to make us pay extra for less.
And please don't get me started on "WHASSUP???" or I'll give Mr Ponturo a "stronger, more bitter kind of product" that will really make his head spin.