Advertising Age this week published an article speculating that Anheuser-Busch's impending buyout by Belgian-owned, Brazilian-operated InBev would tarnish Budweiser's patriotic brand position. While Budweiser may lose the right to mix heavy-handed US patriotism into its brew of marketing, advertising and sponsorships (would this be such a bad thing, anyway?), the presence of foreign interests is nothing new to this brand. For example...
- To this day, A-B pays a Czech brewery in exchange for rights to use the Budweiser name in the US. Paying royalties to a Czech brewery for your name isn't exactly what you'd expect of this allegedly "great American brand."
- Clydesdales are another legacy in A-B branding and marketing. That's a Scottish breed of horse, for those of you keeping score. Again, not exactly Americana in origin.
- Beer is not an American invention. In fact, its origins are traced to Egypt and Iran. The word "beer" is derived from the German "bier". American beer is the Johnny-come-lately in the history of the drink.
Would you stop drinking your favorite beer if the parent company - and nothing else beside perhaps the amount of patriotism in its advertising - changed?