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Superior drinkability. Superior advertising.

September 29, 2008

I passed a new billboard on my way home from work last week. It was a Bud Light billboard that just had the word DRINKABILITY in tall, powerful lettering. It made me want an ice cold Bud Light. And it got me thinking about product features and benefits.


Two major beer companies have taken the liberty in this crowded alcoholic beverage market to invent ownable features for their products. Bud Light touts drinkability. Coors touts the coldest tasting beer. Once upon a time, drinkable and cold were not considered product features.  I think anyone would agree that they are more “states of being” than specific product features. At their base, they could be applied to any beverage. However, these two marketing giants have managed to coin them and own them. Drinkability is even now defined in the urban dictionary as “A word used to describe how suitable a beverage is for consumption” The source for the definition? A Bud Light commercial.


We learned in a beer tasting session that Bud Light actually was developed to be as “drinkable” as possible. However, what they really mean by “drinkable” is a smooth and easy taste that doesn’t linger. But rather than just saying “smooth and easy” like the rest of the beer beverage world, AB looked further into it. What benefit does smooth and easy offer the drinker? The ability to drink more beer, more quickly. And ta-da, DRINKABILITY is born. They turned a ho-hum category standard feature into an ownable, consumer benefit driven claim that now drives their entire 2008 ad platform.  


I don’t quite understand the Coors feature, or how they can call cold a type of taste.  I think the coldness of your beer has more to do with the quality of the beer cozy or the amount of ice in the cooler. But I have to give them props for grabbing a feature that everyone looks for in their beer (ICE COLD) and trying to lay claim to it somehow. The copy proof for this is “Shipped in refrigerated rail cars”. Eh.


As an AB loyal-bud light drinking-Soulard living resident… I have to say Bud Light does it better.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. emily permalink
    September 30, 2008 8:57 pm

    I have been wondering forever what “drinkability” is all about. I am now educated.

  2. Crystal permalink*
    October 1, 2008 10:35 am

    We need to have our favorite brewmaster visit our lair!

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