Thursday, November 10, 2011

Bud Light Platinum -- and I thought Miller Clear was dopey

It's like Bud Light doing a pole dance...
Go read this, and come back. We need to talk.

All up to speed? Okay. The quote that stands out there (other than "higher-alcoholic beer," what the hell, fella, was there something too tame (and accurate) about "higher-alcohol"?) for me is this one: "Bud Light Platinum is a trendy blue-bottle line extension that appeals to a key group of beer drinkers and expands consumer occasions.”

WTF?
  • Blue bottles are trendy?
  • Blue bottles are a type of beer?
  • Blue bottles appeal to a key group of beer drinkers? WHO?
You guys should know by now that I don't slap AB around just for fun, but this idea's got "cognitive disaster" stamped all over it. A 137 calorie "light beer" with 6% ABV? Right, pound these like 4.2% 105 calorie Bud Light (because it does say BUD LIGHT right on it), and you'll be knee-walking -- knee-walking and fat -- in no time.

I'm seeing a lot of people -- beer geeks -- saying this is a shot at the craft market. I'm sorry: you're stoned. You guys think everything is about craft beer: it's not. Craft beer is still under 6% of the market. It's growing, it's profitable, and you've got Dark Lord in your cellar, but 7 out of 8 beer drinkers are still pounding mainstream suds, okay?

What we have here is yet another attempt to get people to pay more for light beer. I'm not sure how making "Bud Light" stronger than Bud (at 5.0%) and only 8 calories "lighter" per 12 oz. can is gonna do that, but that's what they're doing. It's crazy, and it's going to fail. Everyone in the media knows it's going to fail, you know it's going to fail. This is going to be another Bud Select, a big fat expensive FAIL. Why are they doing this? Did all the smart people quit or get laid off?

Ah, well. Sit back and watch the follies.

An addition that was too good to pass up. Convenience Store News notes in their story on Bud Light Platinum that it "...has the chance to be a trailblazer in the light beer market. Most beers in that category deliver fewer calories and carbohydrates than standard beers, while providing a lower alcohol content." Oh, CSN, if I didn't know better, I'd think you having some fun with these guys! 

14 comments:

Slouch Sixpack said...

Hey... I'm only a *little* stoned. And the reason beer geeks have been shouting about this is because of all the press releases going around for this beer with the headline "Anheuser-Busch InBev Develops New Craft Beer".

Either way, you are right. This product is DOA...

Lew Bryson said...

Heh. Did AB call it craft, or did someone at a newspaper screw up and say that? That AAB story quotes an LA Times story!

Brett said...

The name "Platinum" seems like a rather transparent attempt to price-up an otherwise mass-market product, no?

Also, please note that gold is currently priced higher than platinum.

Anonymous said...

They should hop it up, call it a belgian-style or IPA, strain it through a pear tree stump and give it a name like "sick mojo" or "ruptured gut" and beer geeks will absolutely FLIP.

Lew Bryson said...

Geeks eat hype, true...but not when it's got an AB label!

Steven said...

"WTF?"

Okay, first spit-take of the day.

My reaction to reading the press release? A-B has done it -- they've created the first Imperial Light beer.

You read it here first.

Second spit-take?

"...and you'll be knee-walking -- knee-walking and fat -- in no time."

Happy Friday everyone!

Jeffrey said...

I think it's pretty clear they are trying to target the Craft Beer market. At least they are trying to get another row on the shelf. What I find amusing is that regular Bud has about 7 calories more than this. Does that mean Budweiser is a light beer?

Lew Bryson said...

Jeffrey...really? Because you don't target the craft beer market with a stark modernistic logo like this, or by putting the Bud Light logo full on like that. Shock Top? Sure. Bud Light Wheat? Sure. But this?

Let me ask you: was Bud Light Lime a shot at the craft beer market? I'll answer myself: no. BLL was a shot at the Mexican import market, specifically the Corona/Corona Light market, which despite how much craft drinkers despite them, still outsell every craft brand put together...

People are saying this is a run at the craft beer market because they have tunnel vision. There are more segments to the beer market than Big Domestic and Craft. Imported lagers -- Corona et al and Heineken and their assorted brands -- may not be getting as much press as they did six years ago, but they're still a big and very profitable segment of the market. FMBs are a weird, churning melange, but they still make a lot of bucks. And Bud Light Platinum is not a craft shot, just because it looks weird and is 6%. (Is St. Ides a shot at the craft market?)

When you get down to the nubbin, AB is making beers like this because it's what they know. Come up with something "different," slap a solid BRAND NAME on it, promote the hell out of it. And as long as you're spending promotional money on it, it sells...kind of. See Mich Ultra, and Bud Select. And every now and then, it works: see Bud Light Lime.

But this is not craft beer. It's a shot at getting people to pay more for an upscale light beer. That's the holy grail for big brewers, since light beer is ubiquitous; if you could get a significant part of the market to pay more for it, you'd be golden. And since volumes are dropping, you need more margin. Win-win...or it would be, if it had a hope of working. This doesn't...see Bud Select.

Anonymous said...

wow i thought it was going after the steel reserve drinker . i must comprehend my reading better.

Greg said...

An anti-craft, anti-session beer? Have we explored the possibility this is a cruel joke just to annoy you, Lew? If you get a note that MillerCoors releases a "PLCB Rules Pilsner," I'm going to be very suspicious.

Anonymous said...

Well to all you morons out there that were complaining about its calorie content, it actually has less calories per 1% of alcohol content. So the more beers you drink to get drunk with bud light the more calories you would be consuming. Which is more calories than drinking platinum all night.

Lew Bryson said...

Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Bud light platinum is a great mastermind.a thumbs up

Anonymous said...

LoL I think you're all putting way too much thought into this beer. It's either good or it's not. It's either priced decently or it's not. At least the folks over at Budweiser are making an attempt to be creative. I really don't pay much mind to the hairs you are all splitting.