This Bud’s For ‘Murica

Until the November presidential election, Budweiser is modifying its beer cans to read America rather than Budweiser and some other “patriotic” design changes.

Budweiser is going to potentially ingenious, potentially absurd branding extremes.

Going patriotic isn’t genius or absurd; it’s played. Budweiser did it back in 2012 to make more money during the busy summer selling season honor our troops and those who died in 9/11.

If Budweiser knew how to walk the fine line between ingenuity and absurdity, they would design a series of variant beer cans that included the likeness of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, bald eagles, past presidents, National Parks (marketed as the Official Beer of the Centennial) and maybe even piggy-backing on the recent announcement of the new $20 bill by designing a can with Harriet Tubman on it.

Whether the can can be consumed sincerely or ironically is paramount to its success, not as a commercial product (because a lot of people would buy a 12-pack entirely for the joke of it), but as a piece of branding in Budweiser’s patriotically brewed empire. The tagline for the entire related media campaign is meant to be incredibly sincere, even inspiring message: “America is in your hands.”

Calling the temporary branding patriotic is disingenuous. Calling it jingoistic seems more accurate.