The Very Genius Of It All

Tucked into this Wall Street Journal article (paid sub. req.) on staving off ad fatigue, is a nugget about the popularity of Bud Light’s “Real Men of Genius” radio campaign.

The ads combine a bombastic announcer, sappy 1980s rock music and outlandish tributes to trivial achievements, such as the invention of the foot-long hot dog. They leave male audiences giggling. And they have been a staple of sports-radio broadcasts since 1999.
Bob Lachky, an Anheuser-Busch executive vice president, says he knew the ad format could stretch a ways. But he didn’t expect it to generate more than 100 sequels, saluting everyone from “Mr. Toupee Wearer” to “Mr. Fantasy Football Manager Guy.”
“Part of my job is to keep new brand managers from killing it,” says Mr. Lachky. “We want to own the idea of having fun, and this helps us do it.”
Bud Light rotates the ads so no one spot plays incessantly. But Mr. Lachky says he doesn’t mind if ardent baseball fans hear some of the Bud Light ads more often than researchers say is effective. “Consultants make big money by telling people stuff that has no application to real life,” he quips.
For Bud Light devotees who can’t get enough of these ads, Anheuser-Busch is marketing three music CDs filled with 20 commercials apiece. The company says it has sold 200,000 of those discs.

That last bit is what really caught my eye. These ads are so beloved that people seek them out and BUY them.

About David Burn

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. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative direction at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.