Archive for the ‘beer’ category

Michelob Ultra’s Ultra-Bad Advertising

June 23rd, 2009

The latest Michelob Ultra TV had contains what just might be the most poorly-written announcer copy in recent memory: “Your life has never been one-dimensional.  So should your beer.”  Huh?!?! I’m pretty sure what they meant to say was, “Your life has never been one-dimensional. Your beer shouldn’t be, either.”

I appreciate that sometimes it makes sense to be less-than-grammatically-perfect in advertising as well as everyday speech, as correct grammar often sounds awkward. (For example, “It’s me!” sounds much better than “It is I!”)  This, however, isn’t a matter of grammar; it’s a matter of illogical, nonsensical communication. Whenever I observe a piece of careless communication, it always makes me suspect that there are probably other areas of the company that aren’t getting the care they deserve. After all, if they will allow mistakes to be made with something that is visible to millions of people, it seems possible that they could be making even bigger mistakes with things that are not on public display–things that are potentially more important than advertising.

There’s one other thing that bothers me about this ad: the presumptive and patronizing line, “Your life has never been one-dimensional.” This and lines like it (e.g., “You demand the best of yourself,” “You never give less than 100%,” etc.) immediately press the BS button for me and, I suspect, for millions of others. First off all, you don’t know me, so don’t pretend you do. Secondly, I’m not a perfect human being and, what’s more, I’m aware of that fact. So don’t insult my intelligence with false and insincere flattery; just tell me what your product will do for me and why it’s superior to my other alternatives.

I have never been a fan of Anheuser Busch’s commercials for Budweiser and Bud Light, which I find to be overly preoccupied with entertaining their audience and insufficiently concerned about selling them on the superiority of their products. While the Michelob Ultra ad doesn’t try as hard to be entertaining, its poor writing gets in the way of its efforts to tell a compelling sales story.

Or, as Michelob Ultra’s copywriters might put it, “Our advertising has never been very effective. So should this ad.”