Post-Industrial Revolution society has not been kind to horses. First the transportation industry abandoned the majestic steed for internal combustion engines. Their place in the workforce uncertain for the first time in history, horses turned their sights to Tinseltown. Fame, however, proved elusive. For every Black Beauty or Seabiscuit, hundreds of horses were forced to take pitiful supporting roles that barely paid enough to put oats in the trough. An anticipated HBO series was shuttered after just one season when the equine lobby accused the network of hazardous work conditions. The Hollywood horseconomy never recovered. These days, the only companies looking to hire stallions are Elmer’s Glue and strip-mall Asian restaurants.
Budweiser is the latest job creator to eliminate its equine division. Citing declining sales and diminished relevance among millennials, Anheuser-Busch announced Monday that it will stable its legendary Clydesdales beginning this holiday season.
What millennial-friendly alternative does Budweiser have in store for us, you ask? Commercials starring 40-year-old Jay-Z, zombies and EDM music, obviously. From the Wall Street Journal:
After years of developing advertising and marketing that appeals to all ages, AB InBev plans to concentrate future Budweiser promotions exclusively on [21- to 27-year-old consumers]. That means it will not trot out the traditional Budweiser Clydesdales for this year’s holiday advertising. It means February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac. It means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash.
True story: I bought exactly one Budweiser six-pack in the last five years. It was during the United States-Germany World Cup game, and my purchasing decision was based entirely on the fact that the cans featured an American flag design.
At 32, I’m technically a millennial. I drink
a case a day responsibly and in moderation. Nothing short of a direct terrorist threat against my family would get me to drink Budweiser. And even then I’d have to think about it. For weeks. If I needed a drink, and the only two objects in my fridge were expired mustard and a can of Budweiser, I’d squirt the mustard into a pilsner glass and add water.
Horses in heart-warming holiday commercials aren’t the problem. Hell, they might be all millennials enjoy about your product. Budweiser is losing market share among young drinkers because their product tastes like it was brewed with hobo feces and hot dog water. That didn’t matter 15 years ago. Now I can visit the grocery store down the street and choose from 100 different craft beers that each taste better than InBev’s garbage brand by a factor of 20.
Don’t blame your struggles on horses, Budweiser. They’ve suffered enough. Just make a beer I can drink while I’m sober.