WARNING: The nature of this post is extremely subjective and controversial.
It happens all the time. Celebrities, corporate tycoons and big brands are constantly trying to put their names on EV-ER-Y-THING. If something is hot, trendy and selling like hotcakes — then you can expect many dark horses in the shadows just waiting to take a share of the market.
It is after all, the capitalist way. Smart investors and savvy business professionals are always ahead of the curve when it comes to emerging market trends.
In my opinion, this can be both good and evil.
Good is when angel investors help to get small businesses off the ground. Good is investing in a talented and passionate craft brewer who wants to open his own brewery, but does not have the capital. Good is investing in the rapidly growing craft beer industry by supporting the development of privately owned, genuine craft breweries devoted to producing high-quality craft beers with extreme care. Good is supporting the little guy — the artist dedicated to the craft of beer.
Evil is when people take advantage of market trends and arrogantly infiltrate an industry for which they obviously have no respect or true passion. Evil is vanity. And normally, the vanity and arrogance of celebrities and big brands does not affect me. Usually, I choose to ignore it. BUT when these big brand tycoons try to infiltrate and bastardize the craft beer industry, it becomes personal.
Sure there are genuine celebrities and big business folks who are actually passionate about the beverage industry and have done great things for it (i.e.: Paul Newman wines). I understand that not everyone has evil intentions. And sometimes, the marketing can be so good that it is hard to see the truth through all the bells and whistles.
Clever marketers pull the wool over peoples eyes and make them believe what they want they want them to believe. Corporate brewing companies are constantly trying to convince people with creative marketing ploys that they actually care about the art of brewing beer — all while producing low quality beers using adjunct ingredients. (i.e.: Miller’s ridiculous “Triple Hops Brewed” campaign) Clever consumers, however, can usually see through the all the bullshit.
At least these guys TRY to put out a good front.
And then, there are the arrogant marketers. These are the people who think that their brand is immortal — that they are golden and untouchable. Arrogant marketing is self-branding anything and everything as a result of one’s own vanity. Arrogant brands think that they have the Midas touch — anything they put their name on will turn to gold.
And that makes me sick.
Arrogant is saying–>
“Once in every generation a brand comes along that simply defies convention. This generation’s brand is Ed Hardy. With a cult of customers that is the envy of any brand, a fanatical celebrity following, and a worldwide marketing machine that spans more than 40 countries.
From the golden touch of Christian Audigier and the magical brush stroke of Don Ed Hardy, the Godfather of the modern tattoo.
The time has come for Ed Hardy beer. No rules. No expectations. No limitations.”
Really? I mean REALLY? Is this some sort of sick joke?
Listen, I love beer. Beer is essentially my life (aside from Ohio State football). And I’m always excited to learn about new breweries and new beers. But this, this really irritates me.
As far as I can tell, Christian Audigier could care less about beer — and I have yet to find anything to prove otherwise. All he seems to care about is putting his label on anything and everything possible. According to the website, Ed Hardy has a “Light and a Premium” beer in its line. But there is no mention of style, brewing techniques, ingredients or the actual “brewery” which produces it.
Ed Hardy beer is NOT about the beer, its about the name and the brand. MARKETING FAIL.
In my not-so-humble opinion, the last thing the beer industry needs is another corporate tycoon producing sub-par, adjunct beers and brainwashing the mass public with ridiculous marketing campaigns.
Maybe I’m just uber sensitive. Maybe I’m too much of a purist. Maybe my passion for the craft beer industry has clouded my judgement. Maybe this is actually a good thing for the craft beer industry. Maybe celebrity interest in beer will help boost the industry as a whole.
Or maybe I’m right. Maybe this sucks.
What do YOU think?