Flight Of The Fickle Hipsters

Vulture Droppings is the blog from Gyro Worldwide in Philadelphia. According to the agency’s casual observations, Budweiser is usurping Pabst Blue Ribbon as the brew of choice among Philly’s urban hipsters.
Here’s a bit of their reasoning, or speculation, as the case may be:

Others say PBR tried to cash in on their hipster status by sponsoring local bands and taking out cheesy ads in alt weeklies. Why couldn’t the brand just sit still, shut up, and allow itself to continue to be discovered generation after generation? They took the short view, tried to cash in, and scared away the flighty trucker-hatted Strokes boys who hate, above all else, to feel like they’re being sold to.

Hmmm. Maybe the “trucker-hatted Strokes boys” are constantly in need of something new to define as cool. Maybe no brand need bother themselves with attempts to appeal to this group. Maybe PBR never did bother with this group, other than to acknowlege their “flighty” existence.
I’m fairly confident PBR’s base—factory workers and other value conscious drinkers in working class bars where hipsters dare not tread—will sustain the brand over the long haul.

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. nice point. fact is, maybe pbr did cash in on the hipsters, but if they did, it was a good move in my opinion. they recognized that they would be the ‘ironic’ drink for only so long. so they figured they could make a little money off of the phenomenon. good for them. so now bud is the drink of choice for the pretentious? i have a great idea for a promotion. take real bud drinkers (blue collar, working class guys) and put them in a room with the supposed ‘hipsters’. hold arm wrestling contests to see who gets to choose the music on the jukebox. kick back and enjoy a night filled with BTO, Kid Rock and Lynard Skynard.

  2. I choose my beer for the way it tastes. But in a pinch try PBR with a liberal dash of lemon juice – it’s not bad. Actually refreshing during this hot summer season. Now I suspect I could do the same thing with Bud but I’d probably be paying 20 or 30% more and that would defeat the purpose of drinking a cheap beer.

  3. I’m with Steve and T on this one.
    If a small group of people love your beer, and you can talk to them, why not try and see if you connect?
    “I choose my beer for the way it tastes” – I think Steve is probably in the majority with that statement. But a 2 dollar PBR beats a $3-4 Bud anyday. Right?

  4. I’ll play futurist for a moment and make a prediction: the next big beer for those trucker-hatted Strokes fans will be The Naragansett.
    So let it be written, so let it be done.