When it comes to marketing, spoofs are often the sincerest form of flattery—especially when “Saturday Night Live” is involved. So when SNL made fun of Sam Adams’ “Your Cousin from Boston” campaign in a 2020 skit starring Bill Burr, it meant the character had broken through. It validated the Boston Beer-owned brand’s shift to humor under Matt Withington and lead agency Goodby Silverstein & Partners.
Sam Adams is a pop culture star thanks to marketer Matt Withington
Withington—who served as the brand’s marketing director from 2019 until getting promoted to senior marketing director for Truly Hard Seltzer earlier this year—scored other pop culture wins for Sam Adams. They included a regional Super Bowl campaign poking fun at Budweiser’s Clydesdales that showed the cousin unwittingly setting the horses free to cause all kinds of havoc in the streets.
The results are nothing to laugh at: In the fourth quarter of 2021, Sam Adams was the fastest-growing national craft beer brand, according to The Boston Beer Co.’s earnings report.