The Pornification of Marketing

There’s an article in todays online Newsweek about a Bud Light spot that came out in February with little fanfare and completely under the radar. However, the commercial  rivals,  if not leapfrogs over the Quiznos spot in terms of what they are suggesting, cancel that, in what they are implying, strike that, in terms of what it is saying. Bud Light has taken the game to a new level or perhaps has lowered the game to a whole new level.

Granted, the assumption is that this commercial is directed right at its sweet spot demographic; and that in and of itself is somewhat troubling if only for that fact that it tells you how much Porn has become accepted into mainstream America and mainstream marketing and advertising. The assumption being that nothing in this spot is really outside the norm for the demographic. Or as Newsweek likes to call it, we are undergoing the phenomenon of “Porn Creep”.

Decide for yourself. Has Bud Light taken things to an all time low? Does this make you want to drink their beer? Do you even care?

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6 Responses to “The Pornification of Marketing”

  1. 1 Jeremy Hilton June 4, 2009 at 7:55 pm

    How this sells more beer is anyone’s guess.

    With all the meetings, approvals, and legal reviews that this concept had to pass along the way, why it wasn’t shot down? It truly seems like the by-product of a confederacy of dunces.

    I described this commercial to a marketing VP at a notable competitor of AB InBev. He could he believe that they “went there”. It cheapened the brand.

    It’s ok to present edgy humor, but do us a favor and sprinkle in some wit. This commercial is cheap and base and shows little intelligence.

  2. 2 marc meyer June 5, 2009 at 8:46 pm

    Completely agree with that and it boggles the mind

  3. 3 Jason Peck June 11, 2009 at 12:06 pm

    WOW. Hilarious. Wow. Doesn’t make me want to buy more beer but does do a good job at capturing the awkwardness of that situation.

  4. 4 Derek Peplau June 11, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    I kept waiting for the hook at the end to tie it back to the Bud Light but it never came. The ad is pretty heavy-handed, with no subtlety at all. But there are two ways to judge an ad like this: the ad’s effectiveness (i.e. it raises awareness/creates buzz around the product it’s pitching), and its merits as a short sketch.

    Will the ad get people talking about Bud Light? Yes, it will (has), so in that regard, the ad is a success (though not sure why it’s only now showing up virally; perhaps the networks refused to carry it due to its controversial subject matter).

    Is it good from a comedy perspective? Subjective, but IMO, no. The six pack of Bud Light is entirely incidental to the ad. For me though, the worst part was it was predictable once it became clear what was happening. It set up the gag, then just took it to its most extreme limit. That’s just lazy writing.

    Is it an advertising nadir? I’d say yeah. It’s definitely down there. The YouTube page touts it as the “Best Budlight Commercial Ever”. That I definitely don’t agree with. Most controversial? Sure. Best? I think that title still belongs to this one:

  5. 5 Jim Storer June 11, 2009 at 1:09 pm

    Thanks for pointing this out Marc. In attempting to produce a video that could go viral companies tend to walk a very fine line. This short definitely walks on both sides of that line, but it certainly captures the imagination and resonates with a guy who’s ever thought (or attempted) to buy porn (not that I have any experience there).

    It’s important to note that this an ad spot for beer… it’s not like they’re terribly concerned with setting a high moral standard in the first place. AB has shown a propensity to use sex as a selling tool in the past… this is just a bit more than we’re used to, which is why it’s limited to the internet (for better or worse).


  1. 1 AriWriter Trackback on June 9, 2009 at 5:38 am
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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.


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