There was a fair amount of discussion last week regarding the re-launch of Crown Lager. It mainly centred on the way that the Carlton and United marketing team were now telling us that the beer which has always been made using the finest ingredients was now being made with… better ingredients. The best was now, umm, bester.
I’ve long been immune to marketing from large brewing companies. Marketing executives receive a lot of money to convince us that one identical tasting beer is better than the next. The product in the glass is what’s most important to me, certainly not the image.
Crown Lager is all about the image. For decades “city types” have been quenching their thirsts on Friday afternoons with Crown Lager. The beer was one of the first in Australia that was drunk straight from the bottle instead of from a glass. It was a “premium” product, sold only in bottles, never from a tap like those inferior beers from the same brewery. That tasted the same. The brown bottle with gold label around the neck was instantly recognisable and identified the drinker as someone who was happy to pay more for his beer.
Whenever that image is changed it’s big news and the new finer than finest ingredients also come with updated packaging. The word Crown is now written up the neck of the bottle rather than on the horizontal. The thing is I’m not sure that it says the word Crown. I’m pretty sure that it says CLOWN.
Is someone at CUB trying to take the mickey out of drinkers that still think that it’s cool to pose with a bottle of overpriced beer? Perhaps a craft beer swilling graphic designer has pulled a swift one on his big brewery employers. If the beer you drink says a lot about you then this one seems to want to call you a clown.
It reminds me of a story that I was told when I first worked in pubs in Scotland in the late 1980’s. This was in the days that beer bottles were returned back to the brewery and kept in plastic crates. Newcastle Brown Ale was popular with young drinkers who would drink it straight from the clear glass pint sized bottle, much to the disgust of “proper” beer drinkers. Allegedly the delivery men from Scottish and Newcastle Breweries would climb on top of the pallets of beer crates and unrinate over them. We made sure that every bottle we sold was wiped clean.
Just exactly what is this guy up to?
If you do want to drink Clown themed beer I would recommend trying Clown Shoes from the United States. They’re pretty gimmiky as well, though perhaps they don’t take themselves quite as seriously as CUB. I had some of their Tramp Stamp Belgian IPA last week and it was superb.
Clown Shoes – the preferred footware of CUB marketers