Pabst Brewing Co., the company responsible for the
revolting swill hipster ambrosia that is PBR, is trying to give the brown-bagged forty some ‘edgy’ cache by marketing to the asymmetrical haircut set.
The push uses outdoor, digital and print ads to spread what it calls “The Tales of Colt 45,” graphic-novel-type strips that show young drinkers enjoying alcohol-fueled adventures. And in what might well elicit a wince from those familiar with the brand’s history, all the creative appears to be drawn on brown paper bags.
“The brown bag was really the canvas these adventures write themselves on,” said Todd Grant, Cole & Weber’s executive creative director. “We’ve all had those cult adventures, and it’s fun to tell the tales.”
We ccould leave it there, but there’s a Bill Dee Williams reference in the story. (Big up, Lando!)
In its late-1980s heyday, when sales topped 2 million barrels annually, Colt 45 was hardly bashful about marketing in poor neighborhoods, where the image of actor Billy Dee Williams and the slogan “Works every time” were often ubiquitous on billboards. Colt 45 contains 6.1% alcohol, making it boozier than most beers (Budweiser, for example, is 5%).
“We really wanted it to be a brand-new thing,” Mr. Grant said. “Whatever baggage they did have … doesn’t exist anymore.”
Neither, it seems, do a lot of the brand’s consumers. Sales have fallen by more than half since the late 1980s, and most of the remaining drinkers are aging.
(Hey, AdAge. Leave daddy out of this!)
The marketing folks have been unable to track down Billy Dee Williams for this campaign. Might we suggest Carl Weathers?