Down to the Wire races to deliver the latest Equine and Equestrian news to Counter-Canter Culture
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, and pretty much everyone else yesterday, Budweiser no longer feels that its trademark Clydesdales appeal to hip 21- to 27- year-old beer drinkers, so for the holiday season they will be cutting back on heartwarming equestrian advertising in favor of fairly obvious ploys to bring in the younger folks. Cue the outcry from the equestrian community and beyond!
But let’s take a look at the facts. Is it seriously the Clydesdales fault that the next generation of beer drinkers aren’t choosing Budweiser? It is undisputed that Budweiser volumes have declined in the U.S. for 25 years, from its nearly 50-million-barrel peak in 1988 to 16 million barrels last year. And some 44% of 21- to 27-year-old beer drinkers today have never tried Budweiser, according to the brand’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev NV.
On the other hand, here are a few things that remain a hit with young and old alike, even in the Internet age: (1) cute animals; (2) sports; and (3) great music. Case-in-point: this year’s runaway winner of USA TODAY’s Super Bowl Ad Meter, “Puppy Love,” which is just one of five Budweiser Clydesdale ads to take this prize. Here it is again just in case you forgot:
So here’s a suggestion from our family to yours this holiday season, Budweiser. Instead of placing this decline in popularity squarely on the backs of those well-loved Clydesdales, focus on the real problems – like the fact that you’ve saturated this market with another Budweiser brand, Bud Light, or that your one-size-fits-all Budweiser beer isn’t hip enough for the age of craft beers. And save the Clydesdales because who doesn’t love a commercial like this:
UPDATE: Anheuser-Busch is desperate to tell equestrians and lovers of the famed Budweiser Clydesdales everywhere, “The story [in The Wall Street Journal] may have left a wrong impression – the Budweiser Clydesdales will, in fact, be featured in next year’s Super Bowl advertising and are also a part of upcoming holiday responsible drinking advertising.” So I think it’s safe to say, “message received.”