Every company, beer or otherwise, tries to figure how to tie their product into as many holidays as possible. Sales of certain goods will spike for just about every holiday, and nobody wants to be left out. Chocolate and flowers spike for Valentine’s Day; candy and costumes for Halloween; fireworks and picnic supplies for Independence Day; and on and on.
My favorite spoof of this idea isn’t even new, but is as relevant today as when it was first recorded in 1958. I’m talking about Stan Freberg’s Green Christmas, which spoofed the commercialization of Christmas during a time when most of us look back and long for that more simple, seemingly idyllic time. You can listen to it on YouTube, just ignore the video. It’s only about 7 minutes and well worth listening to. It’s as hilarious as it is poignant. Plus, you get to hear them sing “we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, we wish you a Merry Christmas, and please buy our beer!” You could also read the transcript on My Merry Christmas.
Beer companies, of course, also do this, and they’re no more or less shameless than anyone else. My favorite example of this counter-intuitive marketing was when I was once sent a German-style stein, complete with metal cap, from Dos Equis! They were trying to market a Mexican beer for Oktoberfest. Well, next week is the Irish holiday, St. Patrick’s Day. And as the saying goes, on St. Patrick’s Day, everyone is a little Irish, and I imagine that extends to beer, as well.
So it’s no surprise that George Killian’s Irish Red would market themselves for St. Patrick’s Day, despite the fact they’re not even remotely Irish. They’re a Coors product. This year, they’ve set up a holiday website, Beware the Green Beer, encouraging people not make fools of themselves on March 17 by drinking green beer. And while I can’t fault their advice, the website features the following tagline. “St. Patrick’s Day calls for a better beer. Lift a glass of fine ruby red instead.” Again, the suggestion that drinking a “better beer” is sound, but I can’t agree with their conclusion that Killian’s is that better beer.
George Killian’s Irish Red. About as Irish as Dos Equis. And while I agree that people should most definitely avoid green beer in favor of better beer, having that message come from Coors via Killian’s is like being told to shun hamburgers in favor of Filet Mignon by McDonald’s.