Wait? What? Schlitz was once a Super Bowl advertiser? Apparently so. We received an e-mail from Bob Kiger alerting us to his blog post titled "Most 'Damaging' Super Bowl Ad of All Time?" In the post, he recounts Schlitz' "Great American Beer Switch" (aka "Great American Beer Test"), which aired during the 1981 match-up between the Oakland Raiders and the Philadelphia Eagles. It sounds like Mr. Kiger had a rough time of it -- as did Schlitz and the Eagles. The Eagles lost and Schlitz, despite the hoopla, only walked away with a tie.
Fiasco it may have been, but it seems the brand had been damaged well before the 1981 Super Bowl. Schlitz had changed its recipe in the early '70s as a means of coping with increased production and cutting costs. The recipe changes led to all sorts of quality issues that ultimately undermined the brand and sent sales plummeting.