Conan O’Brien and John Turturro Peddle Brew

by David Lauterbach
2009 January 21

Is star power enough to sell beer in hard times? For this year’s Super Bowl, Anheuser-Busch InBev and Heineken will be targeting beer drinkers who have been curtailing their spending since the recession began.

Heineken USA is introducing a tongue-in-cheek campaign that presents the actor John Turturro as a guru whose words of wisdom are composed of more head than beer.

But when it comes to product saturation and spending on beer ads, no one outdoes Anheuser-Busch InBev, typically buying the most commercial time during the game of any advertiser. This year, comedian Conan O’Brien will his debut as a product pitchman. His spot spoofs celebrities who limit their endorsement work to foreign countries. The commercial starts with O’Brien agreeing to peddle Bud Light if his spot runs only in Sweden; naturally, complications ensue.

I usually don’t care to see celebs in commercials… it always makes me wonder how much they were paid rather than if they use the product and if I should buy it. And commented “There’s a saying that says when celebrities are used in advertising, the creatives have either gotten lazy, run out of ideas or both.”

And rather than use the majestic Budweiser Clydesdales to even the pitch, A-B InBev has decided to yuk it up with the ponies, placing them in slightly humorous situations.

I can’t blame A-B and Heineken for these approaches… after all, the idea is to be talked about the next day at the water cooler, and I’m sure these will make people do that. But I don’t think I’ll be buying more Belgweiser because Conan told me to.

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Pardon us please, while we pay for beer...

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