When you’re trying to market for a multi-national corporation, it’s common practice to create regional ads to target the different markets you serve in different places. Here in Canada, we see a lot of advertising for American companies, but not a lot of American ads. We see the Canadianized version. Remember when we got Target for a year and they played all those Target Canada ads, popping our maple leaf everywhere and trying to get us to associate their red and white colour scheme with ours?
One company that has been particularly successful at making us feel included and almost proud of their brand is Budweiser. Although their beer is distinctly American, they market to Canadians very well (according to The Beer Store, it’s the third-most popular beer in Canada). With their goal-synced lights and beer glasses for hockey season, you could almost image that the brand is Canadian. Except it’s not at all. And we know that. But for some reason, Bud thought they could pull one over on us and make us think it’s from Alberta.
They released an ad this week featuring Albertan country singer Corb Lund, plastered the words ‘Alberta Made’ on everything and ended by claiming, ‘Proudly brewed here since 1980.’ Technically, yes, they’ve brewed here that long, but the brand is ‘America’s beer’ and was first introduced in 1876 in St. Louis, Missouri.
‘Being an Albertan is in my music,’ a Lund voice-over says, ‘It’s the places, it’s the people. We’ve been through a lot, but at the same time, we’ve accomplished a lot.’ Cue a shot of a brewery featuring a large ‘Alberta Made’ Budweiser ad. Are you implying that one of those accomplishments was starting Budweiser?
Canadians are not at all pleased at this deceitful attempt to convince us this is Canadian beer. We are much too proud of our Canadian identity to be okay with someone trying to convince us Bud started here. No, thank you.
Unfortunately, they got some of us for a few shining seconds.
Very cool ad! Lovin those Canada pics!
— RD Country (@RedDirt_Roots) July 26, 2017
My wife is from Calgary. Beautiful place Alberta.
— Jackson Taylor (@realjaxtaylor) July 26, 2017
But the general concensus was a feeling of betrayal on behalf of Alberta breweries and Canada as a whole.
Wasn’t this relabeled as “America” just a couple of months ago?
— M.A. Scott (@YEGBierFrau) July 27, 2017
Way to leave the 50 actual alberta breweries in the dust! Maybe help local brewers instead of helping bud fake it. #corporatelund
— Ben (@BenRix1) July 27, 2017
— TheoreticallyBrewing (@TheoryBrew) July 27, 2017
— Reps Hotness (@stephenross) July 27, 2017
Maybe it’s time to switch to whisky
— Norsemen Brewer (@NorsemenBrewer) July 27, 2017
Some people were a little more ‘Canadian’ about the whole thing than others. Mostly, they had some compassion for Lund. A man’s gotta eat, right?
Hope they gave you a boatload of money for this.
— 2 Turn Larry (@2turnlarry) July 27, 2017
Guess @CorbLund gotta eat too.
— Glenn Walker ☕️ (@walkergv) July 27, 2017
Others weren’t quite so kind. This was just plain savage.
— Trent Ferguson (@pharmdog77) July 27, 2017
Yeah, that’s Neil Young’s ‘This Note’s for You’ which was targeting celebrities in the 1980s for ‘selling out’ and doing commercial endorsements. Yikes.
Hopefully Bud has learned from this ordeal not to mess with Canadians when it comes to their national identity.