Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Bees, Beers and Buffoons

Many years ago there was a brewery in our fair town that was taken to the brink of disaster. After emerging from bankruptcy protection in 1999 Lakeport Beverage Corporation began to rebuild and revamp. Not just a brewery though, they manufacture and package many other brands that we see on a regular basis. But here in our town it's the beer that keeps them in our hearts. Maybe it's because as Canadians we are enamored with our beers. Whatever the case, with the talented Teresa Cascioli at the helm they have steadily been growing over the years.

The bigger breweries scoffed at this little upstart dabbling in the market, after all they almost closed down. They weren't a threat to their empire of suds. Little did they realize in 2002, the first shot that they would begin to actually feel had been fired. Lakeport Honey Lager was launched for the introductory price of only $24 for a case of 24 bottles. In November of 2004 this beer that the big boys didn't care about suddenly got their attention when it cracked into the coveted top 10 selling brands of beer. Now they were scared.

This year, Labatt's has taken up the challenge of trying to stave off this contender by fighting fire with fire (actually fighting beer with beer, but let's not get picky). Unable to actually achieve the price point of a buck a beer, they had to offer theirs up at $25 for a case. This new beer could put them toe to toe with Lakeport in a fight they never regarded as worthwhile years ago.

Labatt may have stood a chance if it wasn't for two things. First off they are not a discount beer seller and never have been. The end result is that they are either using crap inputs which result in a lesser beer (which I can say is true now that I have tasted it) or that they are gouging the masses with their regular brands.

The second is that they are marketing designed by high priced idiots. Rather than being good sports in the battle they are going out of their way to try and tap into the patriotic nature of our fair beer drinking populous by advertising that their beer is made with pure Canadian honey. Thank god! Imagine our poor hard working Canadian Bees losing out to cheaper working Mexican bees.....the horror! That makes me feel a lot better about buying a beer from a company owned by a Belgian firm instead of a company owned staffed and run by Canadians in my own hometown.

As if that wasn't enough they take a direct run at the target market itself. This tactic typically works if you play it right, but by insulting the customers of the brand you are targeting you are trying to accomplish what exactly? Where is this reaction coming from? Last night I was watching television and on came a commercial for the new Labatt honey beer. It was delightful romp in which a man, while barbecuing, was told by his wife that his she bought a new cheap honey beer instead of his regular honey beer. As he worried about this beer travesty his glasses, fence and home crumbled around him from his apparent cheapness. Kinda gets you all warm and fuzzy doesn't it. As a cheap bastard who risks the safety of his family by scrimping continually I would be concerned about the extra $1 a case as it would cut into my besieged maintenance funds, so how does this drive me to their beer? Oh wait! Don't buy honey beer unless you want to be percieved as a cheap twat!! Riiiiight ........... I'll throw all mine out right now.

Note to Labatt's - If you are trying to win over customers you really shouldn't try to shame them for buying cheap beer. I drink it with pride and would invite you over for a beer at my barbecue so I can spit one in your face. Thanks for treating your consumers and your product with obvious disregard and distaste.

Well I'm off to drink my cheap beer while the roof of my house falls in. I'll just use the empty cases from my Lakeport beer to cover the hole since I'm such a tightass with my money!!

As a final note the Labatt "pure canadian honey bees" they had running around our fair city was a nice touch. Although I was "asked" to leave when I asked where on their body they store the honey. If anyone could find out I would still like the answer as that restraining order now stands.

Reminder for those that want a postcard to get their requests in while I have some left. A reminder to email me with your address so I can get one to you. Not that anyone has forgotten to get me their address, honest!


Blogger blue2go said...

Ummmm beer...

8:39:00 AM  
Blogger Sask 1 said...

i love beer.Just keep it coming.

11:36:00 AM  
Blogger Stacy The Peanut Queen said...

Sorry, being as I'm not a Canadian Honey Bee, I have no idea where they keep their honey....did you Google it? I'm sure you'd get some ideas from the web. ;)

12:04:00 PM  
Blogger Fizzy said...

ummmm Beer. I Like beer too :)

12:35:00 PM  
Blogger Adrienne said...

I'm not a beer fan but when I did drink it (just to be like everyone else) I drank Molson Ice.

Sorry to hear about your restraining

12:58:00 PM  
Blogger GlitterGlamGirl05 said...

ummmm...Beer...I could use one now to get through the rest of the darn day!

2:38:00 PM  
Blogger happyandblue2 said...

I was with you on this until you put up the picture of the honey bees. Labatts has my vote now. Bring on those Canadian bee women..

7:57:00 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Honey and beer, neither one are in my favourite tastes in the world food group. Now if you're talking bourbon..I'm all ears.

Now about the restraining many does that make now? I think I'm losing count...or possibly just my mind.

6:57:00 AM  
Blogger JODSTER said...

Gotta love it!

FYI - I submitted a link to this story to AdRants. Perhaps there is a marketing story in here somewhere...

8:18:00 AM  

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