This post started out as a light hearted attempt to walk down memory lane by posting classic commercials from Pabst. The resurgence of the Pabst Blue Ribbon brand will go down in the annals of marketing history. A dying brand was resurrected by a generation of people who were not born when it was last prominent. It was not nostalgia because there was no memory from youth. It was a counter culture phenomenon where a large number of people decided to express their individualism by all drinking the same beer (and riding fixed gear bikes in tight jeans, but that is a different story all together).
The truth is that these things don’t just happen. PBR was an inexpensive beer that by most accounts is not a bad brew. Brilliant guerilla marketing played a huge part as well. PBR did not explicitly market their product, but instead paid influencers to buy rounds. They knew that hipsters hate advertising, so they introduced brilliant marketing schemes that did not appear as advertising. Faded t-shirts and product placement disguised as graffiti spread the word. Once the market demand was created, bars gained cred by offering the brand. Offering PBR became as important as having Gogol Bordello in your music mix to having your bike rack filled with fixies
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