“Budweiser Fine Arts Week” is over. This post is a not part of that. (The eight day, 8-pack of artworks featuring the Budweiser beer brand that ended yesterday.) Although it does follow the Budweiser thread a bit longer…
You know, it’s risky to pursue a single subject here for too long. These week-long digressions inevitably lead to a certain package-design-blog “consumer confusion.”
Someone tuning in midweek might understandably get the impression that box vox was more about contemporary art & Budweiser beer, than, say, package design. I know of at least one person who visited this site in February of 2010 and concluded that box vox was a blog all about egg-shaped stuff.
Probably it would be safer to adhere to a steady diet of brand & design-related sound-bites, but maybe I am not as risk averse as I thought…
Meanwhile: why has Budweiser been the pervasive choice for so many artists? Because the ubiquitous brand becomes the generic, default choice.
The photos the cigarette pack & beer bottle above relate both to brand extension and to this idea of brand prominence as a generic, default choice… as suggested in Budweiser’s 2005 trademark tagline, “This is Budweiser. This is beer.” (Now abandoned)
In 2010, when I found photos of a test-marketed Marlboro Beer, the first thing I wondered was whether there might also be Budweiser cigarettes. By rights I should have been looking for Miller Beer cigarettes, since it was Phillip Morris’s purchase of Miller Brewing in the early 1970s that had led to the Marlboro Beer experiment. In my mind, however, Budweiser was the generic, default choice for beer. Just as Marlboro was the generic, default choice for cigarettes. I therefore felt that Budweiser cigarettes and Marlboro beer would make a perfect couple.
Then last week, I happened to find these pictures of some promotional “Budweiser cigarettes” on Worthpoint. I would have preferred a full-color red, white & blue pack in the classic 1886 style, rather than the 1896 Anheuser-Busch “Eagle” or the 1960 “Budweiser Bowtie.” More of an advertising promotion that a full-on brand extension, but still… close enough.
(More Budweiser tobacco, after the fold…)
Not an Anheuser-Busch product, this cut-plug tobacco tin was made by the Lovell & Buffington Tobacco Company in the early 1900s. I’m guessing this product did not figure into the 1907 “Budweiser trademark dispute” between competing Budweiser beer companies.