The space of craft beers has become crowded and Sam Adams seems to be feeling pinched by many newer, more exotic brews from small breweries. Sam Adams, believing the brand choice is primarily based on taste, has a straightforward message: “Don’t sell Sam Adams short. It tastes a lot better than you think it does.”
For a lot of beer drinkers, the biggest surprise in the ad is that many people don’t expect much from Sam Adams. The next time those beer drinkers think about moving up from Budweiser or Miller, they’d be crazy to choose Sam Adams because people don’t expect much from Sam Adams. Even the brand’s own advertising admits it.
When an ad spends a lot of time acknowledging that people don’t think much of the brand, the ad is a failure.
Sam Adams would be better off figuring out how people who buy expensive beer really choose a brand. Hint: it’s not taste. If beer drinkers spend a lot of money, they expect a lot of taste. But the specific taste is not the deciding factor. Often, beer drinkers buy brands whose taste they can only imagine before they pop the top.
Beer drinkers are buying the beer to make an impression. Sam Adams should work on improving the impression that Sam Adams makes rather than admitting Sam Adams makes a bad impression now.