Budweiser Tries to Act Tough and Throws Shade at Craft Beer in #NotBackingDown Super Bowl Ad

by Ryan Hudak on Feb 8, 2016 in Culture
Budweiser Tries to Act Tough and Throws Shade at Craft Beer in #NotBackingDown Super Bowl Ad

Budweiser was back at their old tricks for the Super Bowl this year, this time with the conveniently-hashtagged commercial “#NotBackingDown,” which desperately tries to prove what rough-and-tumble badasses they—and their drinkers—are. And while it wasn’t as obviously offensive to craft beer drinkers this year as it was last year, they still made it a point to drive home everything their beer isn’t—which, apparently, they think will set them apart.

The one-minute ad opens with a familiar shot of the Budweiser Clydesdales and starts off with “Not ponies.” Okay. I’m not sure what that has to do with beer, but let’s move on almost immediately to the digs at craft beer—“Not a hobby” followed by “Not small” and “Not sipped.” Are these bad things? Are we supposed to believe that someone turning their hobby into a legitimate business—or someone who only brews as a hobby—are somehow less than Budweiser? Or that small breweries that produce beer that can be sipped—ie, that which actually has flavor to enjoy—is worse than the macro swill Budweiser churns out constantly?

The commercial then moves on to “Not soft,” which, again, not sure what that has to do with beer. “Not imported” is a good one, considering AB-InBev is headquartered in Belgium where, incidentally, some of the world’s best beer comes from. I’m still not sure what the problem is with imported beer just because it’s imported, but I’m assuming the people who write it off just for that reason probably aren’t going to leave their Bud Lights behind for it.

The commercial concludes with “Not a fruit cup,” “Not following,” “Not for everyone”—I’m assuming they are referring to people of taste—and finally, “Not backing down.” The commercial is a clear case of preaching to the choir, since no craft beer drinker is going to fall for it, and it serves only to make regular Bud drinkers think they’re somehow better now that Budweiser is throwing all these key marketing phrases at them.

No matter how Budweiser tries to put themselves on a pedestal, no one’s mind has been changed. Real beer drinkers see through the bullshit immediately, and those who don’t—well, they deserve all the Bud Light they can drink. 

Check out the commercial and let us know what you think on Facebook or Twitter.

Photo and video via YouTube


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