Are TV spots the “heroin” of advertising?

By Ted Wright March 23, 2009

Perhaps the other big news to come from the meeting was the creation of TV ads for Blue Moon.” 

The quote above is from the reporting by our good friends at Beer Business Daily. We have gotten several e-mails from other friends in the beer industry asking about what we thought about this new move so we thought we’d post some thoughts here.  Blue Moon has such a strong base of WOM that harnessing the power of broadcast now makes sense.  

At Fizz we are agnostic about tactics but fundamentalist that marketing must be about interesting, relevant and authentic conversations with consumers. Most TV does not do this. If Blue Moon’s TV does, then great. Perhaps these commercials will do for Blue Moon what the Duck spots did for AFLAC – take a product built on word of mouth and turbo charge growth by harnessing the power of broadcast. Some of the people here at Fizz used TV to great effect when they helped PBC rejuvenate the Rainier brand in the Pacific NW.  RainierVision, the name of the campaign, worked because the TV spots were created to spark brand right conversations not just shout at people. 

Beer Business Daily also quotes MillerCoors that while Blue Moon outsold Sam Adams in 2008, 90% of those gains came from distribution gains. These are both interesting facts given MC’s move into TV with Blue Moon.   Here at Fizz, we have great love for the Blue Moon folks. Some of us were out there when the entire team could fit in a small widowless conference room and have many chairs left empty. Since then, that team has pulled off one of the great big company beer campaigns in the last ten years.  

In the final analysis Fizz believes that TV ads are a lot like heroin – really effective at the beginning but the need for ever increasing amounts to maintain the same level (of “high” or “sales”, you pick), makes them ultimately destructive. AB is the most recent example of this. Let’s hope Blue Moon doesn’t get hooked.


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