The Bud Light Campaign? I'm Having A Little Trouble Getting It Down.

So you've seen the campaign. You probably don't give a crap, but you've seen it. Drinkability. Really? Drinkability? You have $100 million to spend and what you want me to take away is that your beer has cornered the non-existent market on people who wish their current beer wasn't so hard to drink? Bud Light IS a beverage, right? And you're saying you can drink it? Beautiful insight. Congrats. You've certainly set yourself apart from competitors like sand and molasses.It's tempting to wish I was a fly on the wall at the birth of this idea. But I'm guessing it's not necessary. I can write the script and probably get it close enough. I'm thinking it happened one of two ways, but my money is on this one: Bud Light brand team meeting in St. Louis...

TOM: "Guys, we need a new campaign. And the agency is just giving us more of that same allegedly funny stuff. But we have new ownership and we need to make our mark. We need a point of difference. We should go old school. Break out an Ogilvy-style USP - Unique Selling Proposition. People want a reason to choose the product. If we can just explain why they should love Bud Light, they totally will." BETSY: "Yeah, but we all know that legal won't let us get within 100 miles of the real reason people choose Bud Light." COREY: "Hey, here's a thought... what if we put it in code. Hold on, Betsy, let me explain. Obviously, we can't say "You don't really even like beer so ours is a good choice because it's almost not even like real beer. It's kinda like beer, but without the flavor and heaviness. Which means you drink lots of it so your MDA (minimum drinking age - wink, wink!)  brain can get sideways without upsetting your tiny little MDA tummy. Now... how do we say "you can drink more" without telling people they should drink more and getting legal all up in our grill?" BETSY: "Well, I guess if you can drink more, then... it's... more... drinkable. But it's not like you can just say it like that." TOM: "Really Betsy? Why can't you? It's true, right? The agency can dress it up a little. I say we put it in front of some groups and see what they say."

So if you're in the focus group and they ask you if the beer is drinkable, what are you going to say? No? It's Bud Light. I'm no beer drinker, but from what I understand, it's innocuous. If you like beer, you'll be fine. You won't love it, but it'll do. So there you have it. A campaign trying desperately to find a way to say (but not say) that the product is an easy way to get drunk, especially if you don't really like beer. I suppose that "drinkability" does sound better than "unobjectionable" or "it'll do." But here's a hint... when you launch your campaign with TV spots that make fun of your new slogan for being stupid and meaningless to anyone outside the walls of your company, that is NOT a good sign. If you have to come out of the gate apologizing, you should probably pick a different gate.