When the No. 1 brewer simply couldn't resist responding to Miller's "Dalmatian" spoof, in which a spotted dog seated atop A-B's familiar Clydesdale wagon leaps into a Miller Lite truck, it came as close to taking the high road as it could have when it used it as an excuse to make a charitable donation to animal shelters.
Nice response. But behind closed doors, there seemed to be another message. Miller's was a nice ad -- for them to poop on.
According to attendees of a wholesalers' meeting in Dallas today, A-B execs showed their sales force Miller's ad -- with a new ending.
In Lite's version, the Dalmatian cruises off happily into the sunset in his new brand wheels; Bud's version shows the Dalmatian defecating on a case of Miller Lite. Sadly, as it was intended for internal use only, none of us will ever see the spoof spot.
Nevertheless, A-B CEO August Busch IV indicated that neither the print Budweiser ad tweaking Miller and announcing the donation today nor the internal spoof of Miller's spoof ad is the start of a larger effort to swat back at Miller in communication.
Mr. Busch provided a taste of Budweiser's non-Miller slamming direction when he showed new television work for the brand featuring Daily Show correspondent Rob Riggle as its new pitchman, replacing actor George Clooney, whose voice-overs had been staples in recent Bud creative. The new ads highlight the attention to detail used in brewing Budweiser.