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During the Superbowl we were surprised to see an ad from the Beer Institute. We're lining up behind Slate to get a Beer Institute Fellowship. Anyway, with all the hot weather, we've got beer on the brain. Doesn't a beer right now sound good?

So this Beer Institute is an industry-wide push to promote beer, a lot like the Got Milk campaigns. Apparently Anheuser-Busch paid for the Superbowl ad. In case you missed it, it skipped all over the world with people toasting the camera holding beer (as opposed to say, martinis, wine, champagne, margaritas...) But you kind of had to be paying attention to notice the beer. In fact, it came across as a 1970s Coke ad — you know, when they got all international — but less heartfelt. Less heartfelt than an ad for Coca-Cola: yep, we're talking the bottom of the (beer) barrel.

Does beer really need to improve its image? The Beer Therapy Blog says NO, and has an excellent critique of the ad. We figure the way for Budwieser to sell more beer isn't to convince people they should be drinking beer when they've chosen to drink something else, or to put a rainbow of happy beer drinkers on TV. It's for Bud to make better beer.

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Either that or get the best beer mascot possible (who we hope can't be bought). Mmmmm, beer.