When You Say America, You’ve Said It All

“With the backdrop of the Olympics and a comically botched election, this summer is bound to be what Ricardo Marques, a vice president from Budweiser, calls ‘maybe the most American summer ever.’

“So Budweiser is going to potentially ingenious, potentially absurd branding extremes. The company has kept the same can you already know, but when you look closely, you’ll realize that it has swapped out its own name, ‘Budweiser,’ for ‘America.'” (FastCoDesign)

FAST COMPANY’S take on the Budweiser-to-America “identity swap” is an entertaining three-minute read, about an iconic American brand’s new identity – at least through the remainder of the year.

On the one hand, it takes a strong, self-confident brand to “literally erase their own name off a package and put a country instead…”  On the other, the foamy tsunami of free exposure and buzz pretty much erases any real risk to the brand. Bud fans still know what’s in the can, so they won’t drink any less of the stuff. And beer lovers who normally abstain from Bud and similar mass-produced brews in favor of their favorite micros, will likely buy some America just for the novelty.

Budweiser – I mean, America – is probably going to sell a record amount of their beer this summer, especially with what are bound to be some catchy ads for the Summer Games, solely on the basis of the name-change. Collectors will scoop up cases and stash them, hoping they’ll be worth some money forty or fifty years hence. Remember “Billy” beer? Today you can buy a full 6-pack on eBay for $59.

Of course, opinion is divided as to whether hanging on to Billy was a good move.

So, will you be buying some America?

About Rod Schwartz

Rod Schwartz backed into a lifelong career in radio advertising in 1973 in Springfield, Illinois. He became sales manager for the Pullman Radio Group in 1979 and served in that position until 2006. He continues to serve clients in the region as the stations’ senior account executive. Since 1991, Rod and his family have operated Grace Broadcast Sales, providing short-form syndicated radio features to radio and TV stations across the U.S. and Canada. An avid photographer, Rod shares some of his favorite images of the Palouse at PalousePics.com.
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