Thursday, May 21, 2009

Nothing Draws Kids to the Liquor Store Like a Clydesdale in the Parking Lot

I stopped at Woodman's after work today to stock up for the holiday weekend. I noticed a Clydesdale standing nonchalantly just outside the liquor store entrance. Yes, a horse can be nonchalant. This one looked so mellow, he might have been sedated (no head-tossing or hoof-stomping, despite being repeatedly poked by squealing children). I knew it must be a Budweiser promotion, even though there were no visible signs, and the horse wore no logoed tack.

Sure enough, as I approached the entrance, I saw a man standing just in front of the horse, fielding questions from the crowd, wearing a polo shirt with a discreet embroidered Budweiser logo. I was tempted to ask him if they've sold much of that Budweiser + Clamato crap. However, he was surrounded by parents with children, so I decided against it.

Once inside, I noticed the line of carts in both check-out lines. I saw cases of Coors and Miller products, but no Budweiser. I guess the Clydesdale can't close the deal. Oh, well -- I suppose if the animal mascot manages to inspire brand loyalty in the next generation of beer drinkers, it will be worth the cost of fuel for the horse trailer.

In the store's beer cooler, I saw a fairly visible section devoted to Budweiser + Lime. I searched the vicinity and saw a token six-pack of Budweiser + Clamato on the top shelf. I did not buy it.

While paying for my weekend supply of Bailey's miniatures and fruity beer substitutes, I couldn't resist asking the cashier if he had seen any customers buy that Budweiser + Clamato product. As an added bonus, he was a twenty-something Hispanic man, the product's target demographic. I hoped he might share some first-hand experience.

He did not disappoint me. "My brother brought some over one night," he sheepishly admitted, "and we tried it. It was absolutely disgusting."

He did not say if any customers had bought it. I'm betting no one bought it twice.

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