Does Budweiser embody America?
Seeking to capitalize on patriotic fervor for the 2016 Olympic games, Budweiser announced yesterday plans to temporarily change its name to “America.”
If approved by the US Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the change will be reflected in the design of Budweiser’s beer cans, labels, and advertising from May 23 to November this year. To deliver the graphic punch, the name change will be accompanied by Americana motifs like the Pledge of Allegiance and lyrics from the national anthem, as well as the motto from the American seal, “E Pluribus Unum.”
“We are embarking on what should be the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen, with Copa America Centenario being held on U.S. soil for the first time, Team USA competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Budweiser vice president Ricardo Marques said in the official announcement.
He noted that the 140-year old beer brand owned by the Belgian beverage company Anheuser-Busch “has always strived to embody America in a bottle.”
Emblazoning “America” on its labels implies that Budweiser is the best that America has to offer. It’s a bold claim for a lager that has been consistently rated as “awful” by beer aficionados, and described as “watery and flavorless” by beer expert Bryce Eddings.
The marketing move may raise eyebrows, but it’s actually not such an unusual idea. While retaining the basic design elements that distinguish Budweiser on the shelf, the temporary name change echoes the personalization concept behind Coca-Cola’s highly successful “Share A Coke” program.