08 May, 2008

R.I.P.--Rest in Pabst

The above picture is of Bill Bramanti of Chicago Heights, IL. Because of his love for finely crafted Pabst Blue Ribbon beer--headquartered only an hour away in Woodridge, IL--at the tender age of 67, Bill had this custom coffin made, modeled after a can of his favorite brew.

When I first read this article I thought the coffin was made for him by Pabst due to his loyalty to the brand, which is pretty obvious. (He's already tried the coffin out. He fit.) I thought, how brilliant is that! A company responding to brand loyalty in kind, especially in the Midwest where people eat up loyalty (and old school American beer, see PBR, Budweiser, Miller High Life). Turns out he paid for it.

However, this could be an interesting marketing move for Pabst, who also owns some serious old-school brands like Old Milwaukee, Piel's, Schaeffer, Schlitz, Schmidt's and Stroh's. Yeah, Pabst owns all of those. What better way to give back to a customer base that made PBR one of the top beers in the country through the 1970s!

And why stop with Pabst? Americans LOVE their beer. And have you ever tasted Budweiser? I love beer too, but I'd rather drink old milk through a used sweatstock. Still, it's the most popular selling beer in the country--the world. Granted, giving away coffins might lead to thoughts of Hey, it's the least we can do. We helped put you in here. So perhaps coffins aren't the way to go. But what's more American than sitting around some grilling meat with friends and a few cold ones. So give back! I want to see more giveaways of beer-branded barbeques, trailer hitches, chest waders, gun racks and hunter orange (trust me, it'll work).

Know your audience people! Marlboro knew this, and through Marlboro miles began "giving away" branded tents, pool tables and leather jackets. I still have a Marlboro CD player, and I only smoked for like three weeks back in 9th grade. Of course, "the man" stepped in and cut them short. But beer companies, there's an audience out there that already loves you. So give back to them. Keep their love. Lest, they be wooed by the frightening cyber-waitresses of Heineken.

You've been warned.

Oh, but Bramanti doesn't plan on kicking it anytime soon. So what does he do with his sturdy, new living room conversation piece? What else--use it as a cooler, fillled with refreshing Pabst Blue Ribbon beeer. That guy's awesome.

--Captain Awesome, Project Specialist

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