Vin Hoffman

The Marketing of No Marketing Response | March 16, 2009

Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) found an inexpensive way to exploit their company without advertising. Given that PBR has virtually no money to spend for marketing and advertising the company found an eclectic niche of “non-advertising” and ran with it. The beer drinking bike messengers loyal to PBR loved the fact that Pabst does not buy into the billion dollar image building advertising that other beer companies participate in. This gives PBR an “underdog” and “anti-establishmentesque” reputation. A subculture of devoted PBR fans inadvertantly promoted PBR for it’s own company. Fans always love an underdog and young consumers seem to have a list of reasons why they stick with PBR:

– Consumers are sick of all the marketing – PBR is cheap, a dollar a bottle (in Portland, OR)

-“Organic”, “Genuine”, and “Retro-Chic” are the buzz words for this company

– “Alternative People” use PBR

– Consumer led brand

I think it’s an unexpected, but refreshing way to market a brand. The only drawback is the company has no real way of controlling the advertising. The marketing is basically left to the consumers and fan base to decide the company’s fate. That is a scary position for a company to be in, but in a way, they have no other choice because of budget limitations. What if Pabst becomes one of the most widely drank beer in USA? Will we see more money being spent on advertising or will they leave it to the subculture to promote?


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