When you’re the biggest dog in an industry being eaten away by a band of small rebels, do you:
(a) Listen to the market and adapt your product?
(b) Rally your vast resources to build a better product?
(c) Publicly acknowledge that you are worried while simultaneously offending any potential new customer?
If you’re Anhauser-Busch, your answer is (c). Last night, the brewing behemoth used the nation’s biggest advertising platform — the Super Bowl — to run an ad not extolling the virtues of its product, but, rather, slamming the buyers of its top competition. No statistic could reinforce more clearly how the craft beer movement has hurt the commodity beer business.
When you’re the category leader, you don’t acknowledge your competitor. Ever. Unless they are really threatening your business. That’s something Budweiser tacitly admitted to the world last night.