Keep Up The Bad Work

Typically it’s unwise for a category leader to respond to an attack ad. But Anheuser-Busch has done so in a refreshing way, turning that age-old advise on its head.
After a new Miller spot that depicts A-B’s Dalmatian jumping ship when it sees a Miller Lite truck, Budweiser responded with a full-page ad on the back of USA Today’s sports section.
Their headline: Keep up the bad work, Miller Beer. It’s getting a lot of good things done.
The body copy: Apparently, Miller Beer believes they have to say negative things about our brands to sell their beer. At Budweiser, we’re positive there’s a better way of doing things. In fact, we’re committed to creating something positive out of their recent negative advertising.
A-B goes on to say they’re making donations to a number of animal rescue groups across America.
[via Ad Age]

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. kudos to A-B for not taking Miller’s bait. SABMiller are talking to themselves. nobody cares.

  2. A classic reaction to provocation.
    And a lot like that great Bud Light “Swear Jar” spot – you do something bad to get someting good in the end. Will Miller continue the attack ads under the guise of supporting animal shelter donations.
    That would be a fantastic twist in the plot.

  3. A classic case of two large companies acting like infants. While I’m glad to see A-B making donations to animal welfare causes, it begs the question: Why now? Did it take a poke in the eye from a competitor to get them to do “good work?”
    Another question: will anybody buy more of either brand because of these commercials? That’s what advertising is all about, after all. Looks like both Miller and A-B have forgotten that.

  4. actually steve, it’s just one large company acting like an idiot.
    A-B does a lot of “good work” actually. this is just them responding in an adult manner to a childish taunt.

  5. matthew f says:

    “kudos to A-B for not taking Miller’s bait”
    Wrong. That’s exactly what A-B’s ad is proof of–they took Miller’s bait. And they continue to do so. I’ve never seen a #1 brand be so concerned with a #2–and a distant one at that.

  6. matthew f,
    They (A-B) reacted. That’s not the same as taking Miller’s bait.