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Brewers Association Launches National Independence Ad Spot Campaign

Brewers Association Independent Label Commercial

You know those incessantly repetitive ads that play before your favorite binge watched Hulu show? Well, repetition does tend to work, which is probably why I still can’t get Buick’s roof racks out of my head, or Conoco’s bizarre “Go Go Go” mantra from ringing in my ear, and I still haven’t quite figured out why New Belgium keeps referring to itself as Fat Tire, and that Fat Tire never sold out. Dammit ad agencies, it really does work.

The folks at the Brewers Association are banking on that same approach of association by repetition, as they’ve announced the release of their latest ad campaign that further aims to tout the importance of independence in beer.

The “Independent” seal, which was first introduced in late June 2017, has been adopted by 3,755 breweries across the country already. And in the last year, has been used not just as an iconic rallying cry, but also as a way to distinguish what the Brewers Association recognizes as small and independently owned breweries.

While the “Independent” doctrine can sometimes come across a bit contrived, cue Brewers Association President and CEO, Bob Pease, leading a “Stronger Together” chant during the 2017 Craft Brewers Conference, it’s important to note the significance of today’s announcement.

Today’s release of multiple That’s Independence You’re Tasting 30-second ad spots, will officially propel, what was previously an industry focused campaign, onto the national landscape. Whether the American beer drinking public will be able to fully understand the connection between “Independence”, with choosing local craft beer options over Big Beer is yet to be determined.

In taking a closer look at the ad spots themselves, it’s clear to see that the production value is on-par with a national campaign. However one could argue that it’s perhaps so on-par, that they actually feel oddly similar to Budweiser’s Brewed The Hard Way campaign. From the fast and hard cuts to random b-roll action shots, gritty feel, to the generic close-ups of ingredients and beers being poured, its almost feels like an exact page from the Budweiser playbook.

And while there were a few slight digs at the beer behemoth in lines like “Our bottles and cans may not have the flag,” and “The difference between real craft beer and the rest”, the ads frankly felt a little too safe. If you’re going to plant your flag by touting independence, be independent and really take a shot. Don’t get me wrong, PorchDrinking is by no means an apologist for Budweiser. We were founded on the ideals of promoting the local producers and creators, that have grown our industry to over 6,000 breweries. So to me, it just feels odd going the safe traditional ad route, instead of focusing on the actual stories that really distinguish these scrappy, small, local brewers from the faceless, revenue-first, corporate entity they’re trying to fight.

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