Is “Made In America” A Viable Brand Strategy Anymore?

The New York Times today reports on some sell sheets and marketing materials produced by Anheuser Busch that emphasizes the company’s American pedigree.
According to the article:

The materials consist of at least two sheets of information that apparently are meant to depict Anheuser-Busch as the brand of choice for patriotic Americans. One sheet criticizes the company’s major competitors, SABMiller and Molson Coors, for being “owned by foreigners.” The other states that Anheuser-Busch is expanding internationally to bring profits “back to the United States.”

Americans are feeling the effects of globalism and outsourcing as more and more goods are made overseas and once decent-paying textile and manufacturing jobs disappear, and it makes me wonder if we’ll start seeing more efforts like this.
But it is a viable marketing strategy for a company like Anheuser-Busch, which also does a lot of business abroad? Can any company market itself with a “Made In America” position? Do consumers care?

About Dan Goldgeier

Blogging on AdPulp since 2005, Dan Goldgeier is a Seattle-based freelance copywriter with experience at advertising agencies across the U.S. He is a graduate of the Creative Circus ad school, and currently teaches at Seattle's School of Visual Concepts. In addition, he is a regular columnist for Dan published the best of his columns in a book entitled View From The Cheap Seats: A Broader Look at Advertising, Marketing, Branding, Global Politics, Office Politics, Sexual Politics, and Getting Drunk During a Job Interview. Look for it on Amazon in paperback and e-book editions.


  1. “Nationalism is an infantile disease.” -Albert Einstein

  2. I would have thought it would work, but it is product sector-dependent. Country of origin will play a part because marketers will want to use it as a means of differentiation in a world of homogenized goods; however, I wonder if it will be relevant come 2015. But here in New Zealand, which is a liberal nation that has a poor trade balance, country of origin does not seem to matter. My experience shows that patriotism certainly doesn’t work in publishing.

  3. Does Harley Davidson use a Made-in-America branding strategy? I am writing out of turn here, but I would think that if a Made-in-America branding strategy is going to work for anyone, it would be AB. I think Bud drinkers are the only people still buying American cars.

  4. Troy Woman, I don’t know the exact answer to that, although in the last 10 years Harley, aided by Carmichael Lynch, has done some very beautiful print ads that promote the freedom of the open road–but not necessarily freedom in the American democracy sense.