Budweiser has been creating great advertising for years. The Budweiser “Swear Jar” spot is the latest in the line of great advertising that has made Miller a clearly secondary player in the domestic beer market:
The spot hits at a human truth: when we do something bad, like swearing, we make up for it as best we can (in this case, by donating to the swear jar). It’s like penance, and we all do it.
The ad is also perfect for the current Budweiser vs Miller marketing battle.
Miller has begun running attack ads against Budweiser, specifically targeting the iconic Dalmatian mascot. That is something bad.
At least in Budweiser’s mind.
From their full-page response in USA Today:
“Apparently, Miller Beer believes they have to say negative things about our brands to sell their beer. At Budweiser, we’re positive there’s a better way of doing things. In fact, we’re committed to creating something positive out of their recent negative advertising.”
To do penance on Miller’s behalf, Budweiser has donated to a number of animal rescue groups across America. Brilliant.
I agree with AdPulp‘s general rule against a category leader responding to a challenger’s attack advertising. And I also agree that doing this is the perfect response.
Budweiser is positioning Miller as so uncouth (and so secondary) that the only response is to do penance to make up for their bad taste. Now, who can watch a Miller attack ad without thinking of Budweiser’s donation to animal shelters? Classic.
Will Miller continue to make attack ads under the guise of triggering giving to a good cause (like in the “Swear Jar” spot)?
One can only hope.