DRINK! (responsibly) DRINK! (responsibly) DRINK!
Irresponsible drinking is a nationwide epidemic – according to the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, 45% of college students report that they engage in binge drinking. But you know what else is widespread?
The Bud Light [Fan Cans] promotion, which involves 27 different color combinations, started rolling out this month. Purple-and-gold cans are being sold near the campus of Louisiana State University, and red-and-gold containers near Iowa State University.
“Show your true colors with Bud Light,” the company says, according to copies of internal marketing materials obtained by colleges. “This year, only Bud Light is delivering superior drinkability in 12-ounce cans that were made for gameday.”
Nothing says “I support my incredibly athletic classmates more than YOU support your inferior, yet still incredibly athletic classmates” like color-coded beer cans.
Many universities are understandably upset over the promotion, given that the whole “1,700 annual alcohol-related deaths among students” is a bit of a thorn in higher education’s side.
Anheuser-Busch responds that the campaign is aimed only at fans who can drink legally and that it has long supported efforts to fight alcohol abuse. It notes that the cans don’t bear any school’s name or logo. And it says it will drop the campaign near any college that makes a formal complaint.
So they have a case there: they’re not selling anything college-specific, just something that can be seen as college-complimentary.
On a related note, the company is inviting (legal) consumers to vote for their favorite color (but really, in effect, favorite school -I mean, who are we kidding here?) and the dark blue and white-colored can (that Bud Light wants you to know does NOT necessarily represent Penn State) isn’t faring so well. The No. 1-ranked Party School? Losing in a beer-related competition? Maybe Nittany Lions prefer Miller Lite.
UPDATE: Annnnnddd…just like that, it’s canceled. Good one, Anheuser-Busch promotions department!