History’s 5 Most Obnoxious Beer Marketing Techniques

The pending release of Animée, a "bloat-resistant" beer targeted at women in the UK, brings to mind the following question: Is this the most obnoxious method on record of marketing beer? Not even close. Here's a countdown of the top five most annoying campaigns.

5. Cold-Activated Graphics
When you sell characterless adjunct-laden American lager to the largest group of consumers in the general marketplace, there are really only two ways to distinguish yourself from the competition, and neither of them is flavor.

The first is your advertising. Celebrities, scantily dressed women, scantily dressed celebrity women, innuendo—the sky's the limit. There are no boundaries to your creative horizons, so long as your ad's bare skin is PG-rated.

The second way is your packaging. Not doing a vortex neck for maximum beer-related vorticity? Do what Coors does: Make your can or bottle change colors when the watery yellow liquid it contains is sufficiently cold that you can no longer actually taste it.

4. Pretty Much Anything Done by BrewDog
Scottish brewer BrewDog has turned food media manipulation into a fine art through a four-part process that should certainly be patented if it hasn't been already: (1) Brew a beer with an insanely high ABV. (2) Give it a painfully gimmicky name (Tactical Nuclear Penguin) and a huge price tag (about $56 for a 330-milliliter bottle). (3) Talk to the press about how "extreme" it is. (4) Profit.

Infuriating, and reliable. And therefore even more infuriating. It would be different if the beers regularly garnered great reviews, but the responses are solidly mixed, a shame at these brews' price point.

3. "Gay" Beers
It's not entirely clear if gay-targeted beers are a sign of progress ("Hey! Gay people! You're people, too, so we're making beer just for you!") or just another in a line of slights ("Hey! Gay people! There are plenty of great beers out there, but perhaps you'd like a beer that's about gay identity rather than, say, locality, flavor, or brewing technique!"). Probably some of both.

2. The Monstrosity That Is Budweiser Chelada
View my video review on this stuff to understand why mixing aged seafood, tomatoes, and beer in a can is a questionable idea.

1. Double Cold-Activated Beer Can Graphics
See number 5. Then, double the stupid and spin it as "two-stage cold-activation technology." You still get the color-changing mountain when the beer is cold, but you ALSO get a "Cold Indicator" bar on the label that turns blue. But wait, there's more. ANOTHER bar called the "Super Cold Indicator” that turns blue when it's really, really cold! Who. Is. Still. Drinking. Beer. Like. This.