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Bewildering Big Beer Branding Blunders - By David Rooney

There's never a shortage of silly marketing ideas in the mainstream beer world. Be it a new packaging "innovation", a strong impulse to persuade us their beer is the coldest, or a poor attempt at a craft beer like offering, I'm always intrigued by what some of these companies choose to sink millions of dollars into in an attempt to get me or you to grab their subpar product off the shelf. Accompany me on this magical five-minute journey as I comment on some of the worst, and downright insulting, beer marketing ideas of the last fifteen years or so.

1. The Heineken Mini Keg In theory, this idea is actually kind of cool. The green and silver keg holds 5 liters of beer (which, as you know off the top of your head equals 1.32086 gallons) and fits nicely on top of a table so you and your friends can easily access the Dutch goodness inside. But after you assemble the damn thing and realize that after tumbling around your backseat for a half hour, a third of the vessel holds nothing but foam, you're going to wish you went with glass bottles instead.

2. Coors Light's Vented Wide Mouth Can "It lets in air for a smooth, refreshing pour", says the commercial narrator. No one is pouring their Coors Light into a glass. If anything, they're pouring it into a plastic bottle and taking it to the gym or on a long bike ride because it's basically water. In 2013, the brand doubled down and added a second vent for, I assume, more smoothness. With any luck, the overpaid associates who suggested the vent idea were strongly reprimanded by their superiors years later.

3. Miller Fortune Miller Fortune was released about ten years ago in a response to the onslaught of higher alcohol craft beers that were rapidly gaining in popularity. The Miller Fortune commercial was dark and foreboding and featured the beer being served in a rocks glass for some odd reason. The beer clocked in at 6.9% (surprisingly high) and was "undistilled", which literally means nothing. The brand folded Miller Fortune after two years. I've honestly never seen one in real life, ever.

4. Foster's 24 ounce "Oil Can" Just kidding, this is a great idea.

5. Coors Light's "Mountains Turn Blue" Cans The idea behind this new package design was that when the mountains on a Coors Light can turned blue (when the beer reached about 40° F), the beer inside was "as cold as the Rockies" and ready to drink. Luckily, most humans enjoy the sense of touch and can determine for themselves when a beer is cold or not. To my dismay, this gimmick garnered a lot of attention when it was unveiled and likely made Coors Light’s parent company oodles of money.

6. Miller Lite's Vortex Bottle Finally, the most ridiculous "our consumers are so stupid they'll buy this concept without question" marketing ploy was Miller Lite's Vortex Bottle. The neck of the bottle featured spiral grooves that, wait for it, "let that great pilsner taste flow right out". Insane? Yes. But appropriately named as it no doubt made consumers' heads spin (much like a vortex) upon seeing this commercial for the first time.

Ah, mass market beer companies, don't you know that it's what's on the inside that count

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