Did anybody else see this? I was watching the Colbert Report last night, as I often do, and happened to catch a commercial for “Bud Light Beer Camp.” If I’d had a beer at the time, I might have done a spit take. As litigious as Anheuser-Busch InBev has been, is it really possible that they could not have noticed that Sierra Nevada has been running a pretty high profile beer camp now for several years? Sierra Nevada Beer Camp has to date done at least 43 beer camps (I did #41), which is how many are listed at the Beer Camp website. But since 43 was held in 2011, it’s probably closer to 50 by now. Certainly, there’s been enough of them for ABI to have noticed. [UPDATE: Since I originally posted this, a colleague sent me a note that they knew someone who did Beer Camp #67 and believe that it's closer to 80.]
I can just hear ABI’s lawyers, if the situation was reversed, arguing that this would create confusion in the mind of the consumer. I couldn’t find any of the commercials on YouTube, so I just photographed it on my television screen.
Doing a Google search, all I could find was links to a few comedian’s websites talking about how they were involved in a series of “Bud Light beer camp” ads for Comedy Central. One conedian, Adam Newman, even had an embedded video, but it has been taken down. That site said it was a “six-part Bud Light ‘Beer Camp’ series” and included “other hilarious comedians Trevor Williams, Zack Poitras, Craig Rowin, and Jermaine Fowler.” He said it was “running this summer on Comedy Central.”
A second Bud Light Beer Camp commercial ran at the end of the Colbert Report, and that one included a screen promoting the Port Paradise Music Festival, which appears to be a two-day music festival and cruise to the Bahamas that they’re sponsoring.
I assume that even with all of Sierra Nevada’s resources, they still won’t be taking ABI to court over this, though I imagine if the situation was reversed, that’s exactly what Bud would do.