Human Interest


Since I’m on the subject of advertising, I saw an ad on TV last night which was the antithesis of the Bud Light ad. This ad was the perfect example of a corporate marketing and advertising department knowing their customers, knowing their behaviors, and knowing what would appeal to their sensibilities. Of course this company has the luxury of knowing about the blow back Anheuser-Busch suffered after it pictured a transgender individual on the label of Bud Light cans.

I’m talking about the ad for Jim Beam bourbon whiskey that features a large, diverse group of people dressed as if they had just left work and gone to a bar. They were all singing Neil Diamond’s most popular song, “Sweet Caroline.” There was a definite party atmosphere, and everyone knew the words and was singing along. The party was made more lively, of course, because Jim Beam bourbon was in the bloodstreams of almost everyone there.

As the singing and frivolity go on, a lonely looking young woman is shown entering the bar alone. Seeing the fun everyone is having, she smiles and joins in on the singing. A message then appears on the screen saying, “People are good for you!” She blends in with the group and has a good time.

I don’t know anything about the advertising department at Jim Beam, but if they had even thought about making the scene of this ad a drag queen bar, it would have been a serious error in judgement. Bud Light executives thought they knew what the public wanted, but they went 180° in the wrong direction. They have paid for it heavily in decreased sales revenue and public image. Jim Beam has come up with a clever ad that shows they know what their customers like and how to incorporate their product into their lifestyle. 

If there’s anyone who hasn’t sung “Sweet Caroline,” or at least knows some of the lyrics, I haven’t met them. I also don’t know anyone who dresses in drag, or admits to it. Corporations should have a clear awareness of their customers lifestyle and habits, and not be influenced by a loudly voiced minority opinion. Tough guys drive trucks, outfitters eat beef jerky, and party-ers drink beer and whiskey! It’s the American way! Recognizing that must be hard for some people, because they seem to have no insight into mainstream America. They pay a heavy penalty for their misguided choices. Bud Light has! Jim Beam will not!

Disclaimer: Consuming alcohol is always advertised as making life better and happier. That’s not true for the families of alcoholics, however. Alcoholism destroys families and relationships and can be a deadly force behind the wheel of a car. This blog in no way is meant to praise drinking alcohol or legitimize it’s effects. It’s emphasis is on corporations and their ability to read, or not read, their customers. Alcohol just happens to be the product. 

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