“Howdy, partner. What’ll it be?”
“An ice-cold bottle of America.”
Strange as it reads, conversations like that may play out all across this country starting May 23, when Anheuser-Busch InBev replaces “Budweiser”— we shit you not — with the word “America” on all its cans and bottles.
In a marketing move straight out of a Donald Trump wet dream, the multinational brewing conglomerate is revamping its packaging to help America “kick off its most patriotic summer ever.”
[jump] Seeking to capitalize on the patriotic fervor that comes with the Olympics and presidential elections, the brand is inviting drinkers to “celebrate America and Budweiser’s shared values of freedom and authenticity,” a bit of market-speak nearly as revolting as Budweiser itself.
In keeping with the ‘Merica branding, other highlights of the new look will include the phrases “E pluribus unum,” “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” and, my personal favorite: “From the redwood forest to the Gulf Stream waters, this land was made for you and me.” If you can manage to ignore the brutal irony that a Belgian-Brazilian company is printing national slogans all over its products to play to people’s baser impulses and take their pretty, pretty money just long enough to consider that last line, it’s worth thinking about.
Woody Guthrie, the avowed leftist and champion of workers’ rights who penned “This Land is Your Land,” would be screaming if he knew that a giant corporation was using his lyrics to sell shitty beer. Especially given that earlier versions of the song included radical and blatantly anti-capitalist lyrics.
But then, if you’ve been paying any attention to the news lately, it’s plain to see that America is a land full of deep contradictions. Despite all the high-minded rhetoric about freedom and being great, this country lives an entirely different reality (see: bathroom laws, mass shootings, the NSA, Ted Cruz).
While explaining the decision, Budweiser’s VP said the beer “has always strived to represent America in a bottle.” Given the way Bud tastes, it’s hard to say they’ve missed the mark.