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Rewriting the Budweiser can

Anheuser-Busch InBev is introducing a redesign for the Budweiser can. Here’s the new can, in all its sudsy, domestic glory:

New Budweiser Can

This is the 12th Bud can design since 1936. Fans of packaging design will enjoy the little “can chronology” at the bottom of the website announcing the redesign.

Budweiser Cans

Here’s the new family of packaging, all featuring the red “bow tie” design.

Budweiser Packaging Redesign

Response so far has been a yawn. Some fans on Twitter have joked that Budweiser should leave the can alone, and instead refresh the beer.

As a writer, I find it amazing that the Budweiser can still devotes 46 words to a seldom-read block of tiny type that dates to the 1870s. It’s a heritage thing, I guess. The “Budweiser Creed” is basically unreadable without turning the can sideways and using a magnifying glass. Here’s what it says:

This is the famous Budweiser beer. We know of no brand produced by any other brewer which costs so much to brew and age. Our exclusive Beechwood Aging produces a taste, a smoothness and a drinkability you will find in no other beer at any price.

People really wrote copy like that back in the day. It doesn’t really hold up in today’s media environment. Who were they targeting?

With the can redesign, it would have been a great time for Budweiser to update the copy, too. Maybe a little more frank honesty about why people buy their product? Here’s my unsolicited, free rewrite:

Hey bro. This is the famous Budweiser beer. It’s cheap, but not embarrassingly so. It’s fine for a barbecue or a football game. You’ll get drunk if you have about six of ‘em. God bless America.

This is why I don’t work for InBev.

Who created this design?

Reportedly, the design was overseen by creative agency Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) London.

Who signed off on it?

Brand managers are Rob McCarthy, vice president, Budweiser, and Frank Abenante, vice president, Brands, AB InBev.

— By Daryl Lang. Filed under Marketing

4 comments

  1. Jesse Cohen says:

    In a bar bathroom I saw a bud can poster timeline. It was pretty cool. The 70s ones still rock! BTW…made you new blog of the day.

  2. Jesse Cohen says:

    Fellow copywriter as well.

  3. Bob says:

    Lets rewrite the Bible too, it’s old, who was there audience, back in the day?

  4. Bob says:

    “Their”, oops

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