Shawn Maher

Budweiser: Subverting the Expected

If you’re like us, or even if you’re not, you’re probably buzzing about the slate of ads for this year’s Big Game. Being St. Louis born, bred and based, we’d be remiss if we didn’t talk about the biggest brewer in a historically great beer town. 

That fairly well-known brewery in Soulard renowned for their beechwood aging aired a spot during the Big Game. And it pulled a trick on viewers that we had a great time picking apart during our trends meeting.

The “typical Americans” trope is often said in a derogatory tone much in the same manner a beer aficionado might say “typical American lager.” However, the King of Beers turned that trope on its head in this spot. Budweiser used real-life footage that seems like it could have been pulled from YouTube… or perhaps a cynic might theorize that it was only made to look amateurish but was actually carefully planned, but we like to look at the sunny side around here. As it plays, the copy seemingly contradicted in theory, but actually highlighted, everyday Americans doing the little things that make a big difference in people’s lives. It subverted expectations to great effect.

Maybe we can forget the beauty in being ordinary in a way that we take for granted, much in the same way we can take anything in our lives for granted. But this commercial illustrates the bonds between hardworking Americans and the hardworking beer that we drink at Cardinals games… or even possibly share with your old man as he reminisces about the blood, sweat and tears he poured into his job.

And okay, maybe your old man is viewing the past through rose-colored glasses. And maybe a great barrel-aged stout is super impressive. Between the two of us, the sangria slushies at Busch Stadium are pretty dang tasty in all honesty. But we dare you to name a beer more associated with baseball, BBQs and kicking back after a hard day at work. Budweiser isn’t fighting the rise of the microbrew. They’re staking their claim. It’s a bold move from that plucky brewery over on Broadway Ave.