If you needed another clue that craft-beer-pretender Shock Top is the baby of Big Beer, look no further than these “viral” videos from Canadian ad agency Anomaly that rolled onto Shock Top’s YouTube channel last week. They are just what you might expect from a large corporation (A-B InBev) trying to act like one of the cool kids.
In this series of clearly staged videos, Shock Top mascot “Wedgehead” – a talking orange slice with a mohawk – accosts various
actors “unsuspecting beer lovers” in the beer aisle and at the bar, peppering them with quick-witted regular-guy quips about their appearance, their ability to attract the opposite sex, and other clearly scripted “spontaneous” conversations.
The nature of these videos fit perfectly with the Shock Top brand – a highly calculated attempt to come off as authentic, but missing the mark by just enough to show that you’re a complete fraud.
There are the actors, each clearly chosen to represent a demographic group Shock Top wants to target (one girl even has lots of tattoos – HOW GENUINE!).
There’s the messaging, clearly on-brand, but hiding behind “irreverent” humor that supports the tagline, “Listen, you know I’m a good beer, I know I’m a good beer – we don’t have to talk about it, let’s chat about something else.”
There’s the computer enhanced graphics in the beer aisle videos, made to look just like the real thing (but not the real thing). Yup – that’s Shock Top in a nutshell.
Along with attempting to paint itself as a hip alternative to the mainstream, Shock Top also uses Wedgehead (ugh- that hurt to type) to take potshots at their craft beer competitors (you know, beers that are actually made in small batches by independent breweries).
In one of the videos entitled “My dad is losing his Mohawk,” the edgy wedge proclaims, “You guys know these beers…they’re trying too hard, you know what I mean? Fifteen names? Wildebeest Three Headed Unicorn? What is that?” The bar patrons he’s talking to titter with laughter, because they clearly agree – those other craft beers are SO PRETENTIOUS, but not you, Wedgehead – you’re our cool pal!
I’ve posted all the videos I can find below (sorry) so you can check them out for yourself. And if you happen to be wandering around the streets of Toronto, look out for the talking Shock Top billboard – god help you.
I guess the good news here is that the Big Boys will always show their true colors; their attempt to come off as totally non-corporate couldn’t feel MORE corporate. Hopefully that’ll stop some folks from confusing this pretender for an honest-to-goodness craft brewery.