The duality of man — the idea that one is constructed of opposites — both of which hold truths. Let us kindly apply this psychology to Anheuser-Busch InBev and its marketing strategies during the Super Bowl last night. There was the “craft beer” ad promoting Shock Top (which we wrote about here), and then there was the doubling down of Budweiser’s craft beer attacks:
It’s a mixed message with a singular truth — global domination — which requires controlling the beer market from every angle. According to AB InBev’s marketing strategy, world-strangling growth requires you to be able to A) mass produce beer for the person who thinks it is funny to flick an orange from a beer and B) market a beer so fruity it literally has a mohawked orange as its logo. The contrast is laughable, but without being both, AB InBev risks only having 90 percent of the market instead of 100 percent.
Growth and girth are the end game here. AB InBev wants us to know its so big and tough (the ad told us so!) that it needs to spend $100 billion (made up figure) to place an ad during the Super Bowl to specifically fight against the 4,000+ little people (1.5 million+ if you include homebrewers, which the ad suggests you should) around the country just doing their own thing. It feels like bullying, and like all bullying, we have to assume it comes from a place of insecurity.
And that’s our takeaway: The insecure giant. A giant with no other giant to measure against, so it must fight little people and fruit slices (seriously, why are they so obsessed with fruit?). A giant whose only value is its size, and in order to keep growing must consume those same little people and all of their fruit slices.
So, instead of being annoyed or angry at AB InBev’s anti-craft beer message and subsequent pro-craft beer business approach, feel proud. Even you, the smallest brewing outfit reading this, has contributed to the insecurity of a global brand that dates back to 1876.
Kind of cool, really.