I Am A Craft Beer Marketing Consultant…

The wonderful and ever posting Jay Brooks has posted the latest version of this odd video meme (pronounced “me-me” for obvious reasons) and it has me scratching my head as much as that Craft Brewer video of a year ago. Here it is:

As I noted at Jay’s, how many of these drinkers are really marketers in their day to day life? Can they not actually find 12 or 23 real, honest to goodness average Joes who like craft beer? And what the hell is it about the soundtracks of these things? Does anyone actually associate classical string quartets or whatever the hell that stuff is with craft beer? Would a little heavy metal or bluegrass not send the right marketing message? It makes me want to fall asleep about half way through.

It’s a form of denial, we know that. And a form of spin. But wouldn’t it be interesting to have one of these promotional video thingies based on the following:

  • I am a craft beer drinker. I am a fan of good beer. I buy good craft beer.
  • I earn my money through hard work and expect craft brewers to earn it from me.
  • I have no time for the floaters, the makers of dull amber ale, the brewers who are there for the government grants.
  • Me and people like me reject badly made craft beer or beer stores that pass on soaking costs for trendy unbalanced crap.
  • We have the conviction of our own ability to determine what tastes good. And know a great craft beer goes with a bag of chips.
  • We know when it is stinking hot nothing goes down like a Miller High Life and respect our friends who like that stuff just fine.
  • But we also know that when the BBQ smoker in the backyard is pissing off the neighbours, when we are sick and tired another mouthful of steamed corn gak, when there is extra money in the wallet and when our mouths demand something that has extraordinary taste…
  • …that is when we buy good craft beer.

Background music? Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” morphing into a little early Johnny Cash ending in a crescendo of grunge. “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” perhaps?

One thought on “I Am A Craft Beer Marketing Consultant…”

  1. [Original comments…]

    Ed Roberts – September 11, 2010 7:42 PM
    I think since you are clearly dissatisfied with this video you should create your own. When you are done please post it & we can critique for you. Cheers!

    Andy Crouch – September 11, 2010 7:50 PM
    Perhaps the oddest thing about this video is that at least half of the people in the video are not ordinary craft beer drinkers but individuals whose employment is related to the industry. And those are just the people I can recognize, the number might be higher. I’m also not particularly engaged by the Stone-style lowest common denominator put-down approach. I think it’s insulting, snobby, and ill-conceived.

    Alan – September 11, 2010 7:51 PM
    Hahhhahhahahaha!! Oh my God. What are you, Ed? Twelve years old?

    Before I make the video I have to build a brewery, write the definitive book on the history of beer in North America, find a cure for the corrosive effects of alcohol on the liver and lead the Maple Leafs to the Stanley Cup. Get in line, Ed. Get in line.

    I don’t know as many as you, Andy, but it certainly smacks.

    Bil – September 12, 2010 12:30 AM
    I don’t have much to say on the video, but the line about how to say meme stuck out to me. It’s pronounced “meem.” Not sure who told you otherwise (or did I just miss the joke? Very possible…)

    MikeMcG – September 12, 2010 4:39 AM
    Some of the criticisms made are about personal taste (musical choice – I happen to really like the original version of the Sigur Ros tune used in the origianl IAACB vid, much more so than this strings version).

    But as I mentioned on Twitter ( @MikeMcGWirral ) I agree with the idea that this clip might have been improved by including more people who were just passionate real beer drinkers (not from the industry) but I think the people in the clip might argue that they were passionate beer drinkers first & always – so much so that they decided to work in the making &/or selling of the stuff – which also seems a fair point.

    Quoting @AGoodBeerBlog on Twitter –
    “there’s that concern – market skewing, failure to identify the beer buyer as having a distinct role + view.” – Can you explain a bit more what you mean here?

    PivnĂ­ Filosof – September 12, 2010 7:27 AM
    “Life is too short to drink cheap beer”? (the quote closing the video). It means we should all drink expensive beer? What’s wrong with value for money? And what’s all that with “innovative”? The average beer drinker doesn’t want something “innovative”, they want something they can say it’s “good”.

    Don’t like the video.

    PS: They say they are “craft beer drinkers” yet hardly any of them is shown actually drinking.

    Alan – September 12, 2010 9:46 AM
    Bil – did someone announce the end of humour? Send me the news clip if they did as I missed it.

    Mike – I mean the consumer is being jerked around and presumed to be on side. So consider this, this, this, and this, too.

    Pivni – Todd at the BeerAdvocate has raised some pretty direct questions about the video including that it has been done (it is rather 2009) but also that there is a heck of a lot of marketing for one particular brewery that is comfortable with the – what is the phrase? – enhanced price point..

    Alan – September 12, 2010 9:55 AM
    Oh and this one, too. That is a key link. I am not in someone else’s club or cause because they say so. I don’t want to go to your night rally.

    beerinator – September 12, 2010 10:03 AM
    The best part of this video is the “no look pour” at 2:52!

    I agree with much of what Todd at BA says (in Alan’s link above). It bothers me a bit that this seems more like a copy of the craft brewer video rather than taking the concept and doing something a bit different with it.

    Stan Hieronymus – September 12, 2010 11:48 AM
    Innovation in our beers and our videos?

    Where will all the new ideas come from?

    Alan – September 12, 2010 12:33 PM

    But seriously, the lack of actual beer drinkers without associations to trade does make me see a trend. Where are the reviews of great bars in the beer mags, or the best beer shops? Why so little of this? Why does the experience of the general beer drinking public go so un-noted even though it is the true life blood of the industry?

    Lost – September 12, 2010 10:17 PM
    I agree with Alan here. The video shows a bunch of people from the industry. Someone DEFINITELY should do a response video where everyday people drinking in local bars are captured.

    The video stinks of beer douchebaggery.


    Anne – September 13, 2010 2:47 AM
    I’m just a craft beer drink – a little ‘ol nurse analyst with no connections to any industry, just some Belgian blood. Alan needs to chill out. I think Dr. Bill was saving lives before he was making beer. It’s hard work. I want to retire and spend more time on my home brew. Maybe I will even go and work for a brewery. After 35 years as a nurse, I am going to claim status as a beer drinker first and would recommend Alan take some metacucil with his next glass of beer.

    Alan – September 13, 2010 8:47 AM
    Meanie pants.

    Walt – September 13, 2010 10:37 AM
    I have a keyboard and I also have an opinion as well.

    Those people in that video who work in the biz were craft beer drinkers before they got into the biz…at least the 7 that I know and recognize.

    Alan – September 13, 2010 10:53 AM
    Mr. B weighs in with his own editing and castigations. Note that so far I seem to be on side with Andy Crouch (above) and Jack Curtin (at Jay’s) and Todd (at BeerAdvocate), not so much with Mr. B while Jay and Stan are in the miggle. Good discussion.

    Stephen Beaumont – September 13, 2010 10:54 AM
    I’m with Anne and Walt, for the record. As I noted over here (Hey, if you’re going to link to your blog from my comments, it’s only fair I get to do the same.)

    Alan – September 13, 2010 11:03 AM
    WHAT? you are joining in with Nurse meanie-pants on the involuntary course of laxatives??? That is harsh, Mr. B.

    Stephen Beaumont – September 13, 2010 11:11 AM
    She said “recommend,” Alan, not “force.” And she did note she was speaking as a beer drinker rather than as a nurse.

    Besides, I hear that Metamucil is quite gentle. Not that I ever use it — I’ve got beer and coffee for that…

    Velky Al – September 13, 2010 11:33 AM
    I posted this over at Zak’s blog, so forgive the copy and paste:

    “Perhaps I am a cynic, but where was the altar call at the end of the video asking drinkers of PBR and Butt Wipe to come forward and repent of their sins, receive Yeast into their hearts, be baptised in the Hoppy Spirit and go forward in a new relationship with godisgood?”

    In response to the thing about buying “cheap” beer – someone should point out the the better beers in the Czech Republic ARE cheaper than Pilsner Urquell and other mass produced offerings. Kout na Sumave for $1 instead of PU for $2? Yes please!!

    rick – September 13, 2010 1:36 PM
    AC/DC Thunderstruck… clips at some small and big beer fests from around the country… and for god sake, if they’re going to feature publicans – Don Younger is needed – perfect representation of a craft beer drinker. Nice to see Matt Bonney making the cut, though. Just one question: who is working on the “I am a craft beer blogger” video and when can we expect to see it?

    Alan – September 13, 2010 2:21 PM
    Oh please God no. 😉

    Gary Gillman – September 13, 2010 5:23 PM
    The earnest tone seemed to me in tune with how the craft beer community has viewed things since the 1970’s. (There was I think the odd touch of irony, but in general I think people meant what they said).

    Some people may be from the business or somehow connected to it but I don’t think that matters, it’s easier to find people quickly that way, but thousands of ordinary beer fans would say the same thing. As I recall them, the late, estimable Michael Jackson’s Beer Hunter videos took a similarly upbeat, sincere view of things – and Michael was English, but in matters close to his heart he left irony at home. I liked the clip.


    Melani Gordon – September 14, 2010 12:49 AM
    We were asked to be in the video. We witnessed handfuls of our friends/colleagues who DON’T work in the industry, but are real craft beer drinkers, debut in the video. Swear they are in there.

    And if you don’t like the video, which everyone is entitled to their opinion, then I encourage you to make your own version to help promote the industry.

    David – September 14, 2010 3:03 AM
    The music is a cover of Sigur Ros,

    Seriosly, who wouldn’t know that?

    David – September 14, 2010 3:14 AM
    But seriously,

    Whatever you think of this ad, if you haven’t heard Sigur Ros, you need to buy at least two of their albums.

    They are one of the best bands since 1990.

    Alan – September 14, 2010 5:13 AM
    Is it really my job “to help promote the industry”? How different from that is Todd’s sarcastic “we’re all supposed to think the same, drink the same, high-five each other every hour, and sing ‘kumbaya my lord’ every evening to ensure sweet craft beer dreams.”? Not to mention listen to that maudlin music, too, I suppose. Can we all agree to blame PBS membership drive specials featuring Andre Rieu?

    I am not particularly strong about this but maybe people do make pep rally vids about their favorite brands of shoe or maybe good cheese. “I am a craft cheese eater.” That’s what the world needs now.

    Mike – September 14, 2010 7:41 AM
    The industrial brewers make ads about everything but their products and the non-industrial brewers seem to be following in their footsteps, but in a slightly different manner: these seem like vaguely religious films – they are, after all, based only on belief. If they want more customers, stop reading Rate/Advocate and go to off-licenses and see what people are buying.

    Pok – September 14, 2010 9:38 AM
    Nice hearts and mind video but not really sure how it can be used other than through posting to blogs and such andthen is onky seen by people who are already on the bus. It is way to long for a TV spot. Lacks any cool factor and too much sap.

    If I had an approach it would involve evil vignettes of industrial beer factories with a cut to the virtuous craft brewer caressing her hops as they grow on the cedar trellis and then smiling sweaty brewers as they clean out mash tuns.

    Snippets of giggling blue light girls holding bad beer bookeded by Mac-using smart looking cool dudes talking about the purity of real craft beer and providing statistics supporting the growing popularity of craft beer and what the evil empires are doing to stop the average schmoe from wanting it.

    I might even do a really quick clip of Osama chugging back a “Mega Lite” for the internet version of the film.

    It’s always about the spin baby because none of us is as dumb as all of us.

    Jeff Alworth – September 14, 2010 1:28 PM
    House-painting takes me away from the really important things: like debating really misguided videos posted on blogs.

    As with that “I am a craft brewer” vid, this one is heartfelt but self-important, WAY too long, and more than just a little hypocritical. Look, craft brewers are mostly really cool people, but they ain’t saints. They make beer. A-B makes beer. They sell beer. A-B sells a LOT more beer. I always get a little queasy when craft breweries try to make a moral case for their existence. People in all countries drink more crap beer than craft beer, and it will always be so. But everyone is in the business of selling beer.

    I also think this is aimed principally at people already in the biz. There’s that (overlong, natch) section toward the end where 47 people repeat the phrase “we must spread the message.” If this were a political ad, it would be an abject failure. But as a gauzy in-house promotional piece to stoke enthusiasm among the true believers it seems pretty harmless.

    Tampa Tim – September 14, 2010 3:05 PM
    “Me and people like me reject badly made craft beer or beer stores that pass on soaking costs for trendy unbalanced crap.”

    Can’t stand being overcharged because my tastes range outside the normal (Bud, Miller, Coors). We have a new store here that “caters to the craft beer drinkers” that provides “excellent customer service”. Horsecrap. Their customer service is just some kid that comes and hangs around, and uses sales tactics from a Used Car Lot, to try and land you on a six pack.

    To make matters worse. None of them have a clue as to what they are talking about with regards to the beers they are trying to sell. Nor do they listen to what the customer is telling them.

    They want the guy that is there to go to “The World Famous Beer Cave” they advertise, pick out his 18 pack of Bud and be gone with a minimal amount of time spent “helping”.

    Perno – September 14, 2010 3:13 PM
    I’d say it’s all of our jobs to help spread the word of good craft beer, otherwise it wouldn’t be here.

    Alan, if you’re making a video I’ll be in it. My hairy back would be a great attention getter to start with, just let me know.

    Alan – September 14, 2010 4:12 PM
    Oh baby. You just make the final cut!

    Jason Harris – September 14, 2010 6:42 PM
    A few thoughts:

    I personally enjoyed the video, it had a nice inspiring feel to it, although a little self important I suppose

    I’ve talked to the guys who made it, and I talked to one of them a couple weeks back at IE Brewing when it was still in process, and it’s pretty much just a labor of love from some beer geeks who run a beer geek podcast

    I do wonder why they went with so many people who weren’t so much beer drinkers are beer retailers. I noticed the two bartenders from the Bruery, the owner of Beachwood BBQ, the main beer guy at the Stone Bistro, a few beer bloggers and then some other people I didn’t recognize. It’d feel a bit more authentic with some more “normal” folk I suppose, but keep in mind that all of these people are friends as well. They’re all pretty much part of the SoCal beer geek scene, they meet up at fests, they share bottles, they excitedly talk about new finds and rare stuff and share them with their friends.

    It’s not a viral video from some beer company, it’s some people who love themselves some craft beer in Southern California making a video with a bunch of beer geeks they know in it. I thought it was good.

    It strikes me as interesting that someone who writes a website about beer seems to vehemently opposed to the idea of someone else promoting beer

    Enter Sandman is not only not a great Metallica song, but probably in the top 3 of songs used in the background of shit. Blech.

    Andy Crouch – September 14, 2010 8:24 PM
    Not much to add (except considering Jason’s comments, I suspect everyone in the video is involved in the industry somehow as I didn’t know those folks). Without jumping to Alan’s defense or rehash the argument that has been going on for years, the job of a beer writer/journalist/blogger (whatever you wish to call them) is not to promote the industry. I know that often seems like what most bloggers do, but there is another name for that job: marketer. Or publicist. Or advertiser. It’s a subject I hope gets discussed by some of the folks attending that upcoming beer bloggers convention.



    Jason Harris – September 14, 2010 8:59 PM
    @Andy: I can say for sure that some of the people are no more involved than anyone else who geeks out about beer so hard they’re writing about it on websites. I wouldn’t really consider myself a “beer blogger” but I guess since I have a website where I geek out I am one, which is all several of those people are as well.

    While I see your point about marketers etc., there is definitely a strong evangelism feeling about getting people to try good beer….it’s still a niche in the US and like anything people are excited about, they want to get other people excited about it too. Not just in this video, but everywhere.

    Almost every beer enthusiast I know tries to spread the good word to people they know, and tries to get them to grow to something beyond Bud Light.

    Alan – September 14, 2010 9:08 PM
    Fellini really said it for all of us.

    Martyn Cornell – September 15, 2010 3:30 AM
    “I am a craft cheese eater.”

    As opposed to a Kraft cheese eater, of course.

    My major criticism of the video? Too many beards. (And I speak as a goatee-owner.)

    Zak – September 15, 2010 7:58 AM
    Like Jason, I’m a bit bemused by Andy’s comment about how bloggers should behave. If I’ve tried a beer that I like, and I write about it (in what I hope is an interesting way), that’s promoting that beer specifically, and perhaps craft beer generically. I work in the industry, but not everything I do is an advert for my employer. You can claim (perhaps rightly) it’s all shameless self-promotion, but that’s another argument!

    Alan – September 15, 2010 8:58 AM
    Sure, Zak, I get you. I write about beers l like all the time. That is why it is a good beer blog, after all. I find it very odd that when some blogs are launch now say proudly that they will not bother with any of that “reviewing” stuff as they will only deal with the important ideas.

    But do you do the opposite? Do you slag a slag worthy beer made by the elf-like artisans? Do you point out bad value? I don’t at all suggest you need to do anything against your interests or interest but does it not strike you odd that good value never comes into this sort of promotion? If I have any point – and I am not sure I do – that is mine.

    Life is not too short for cheap beer. Life is too short for poor beer. And there is too reasonably large amount of poorly thought out or overpriced craft beer out there that takes too big a bite out of the wallet for it too pass without comment.

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