It seems that Anheuser-Busch is smarter than your average beer as it has worked out a $2.5 million “co-branding” campaign with the National Parks Service, which has (or had) a long-standing no alcohol policy.
“The multi-million dollar partnership raises awareness about national parks and the centennial milestone of the National Park Service in 2016,” reads the press release from the Belgium-based brewery. “In celebration, Budweiser is rolling out limited-edition patriotic packaging featuring the iconic silhouette of Lady Liberty.”
“We want to encourage a new generation of beer drinkers to get out there and see what America is made of,” said Brian Perkins, vice president, Budweiser. “And where better than in America’s national parks? It’s fitting for Budweiser—a big, bold brand—to team up with a pioneering partner like NPF. We are looking to draw attention to these parks with our eye-catching packaging.”
“America’s national parks are some of the most beautiful places on earth,” said Perkins. “We want to recognize that sense of scenery. That’s why we’ve brought one of the most iconic, inspiring visuals in the world to beer drinkers. That’s why we’ve commissioned an exciting Instagrammer to help unveil the partnership. And, most importantly, that’s why we’ve joined NPF to drive more young adults to see these sights for themselves.”
PEER (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility) Executive Director Jeff Ruch is not a fan of the deal. “If the Park Service thinks its path to ‘relevancy’ runs though alcohol promotions, then America’s best idea has truly lost its way,” Ruch says. “By the Park Service’s logic, that epic concert at Woodstock should have turned Baby Boomers into a generation of farmers.”
And speaking of Woodstock, part of the “co-branding” campaign will include a series of “musical events” in the parks sponsored by Anheuser-Busch as well as “a pretty epic surprise concert this summer.” I’m imagining an impromptu concert by U2 atop the Head of George Washington at Mount Rushmore. Then again, the impromptu U2 concert (it has to be an impromptu U2 concert, right) might be better suited to Joshua Tree National Park. I suppose we will have to wait and see.
* Leslie Knope does not approve this announcement.