The beer brand hopes to humorously piggyback off PSL mania.

By Mike Pomranz
September 02, 2018

We’ve reached the waning days of August which means seemingly every brand on the market has gone into pumpkin spice mode. It’s an annual tradition that’s gotten a bit less endearing over the years; hearing about another product getting the PSL treatment is just as likely to lead to groans as enthusiasm. For instance, can you imagine how silly a pumpkin spice version of Busch Light would be? Yeah, it would be ridiculous. And Busch knows it—which is exactly why the cheap beer brand decided that idea might make for a fun marketing campaign.

In an attempt to piggyback off PSL season, Busch Light has embarked on a humorous fake rebrand as Busch Latte—a hashtag the brand claims is already a regular joke on social media. No, sadly, Busch Latte cans apparently won’t be hitting store shelves anytime soon, but the Anheuser-Busch brand is using mock images of a fake Busch Latte can in several major promotions including traveling billboards in four major cities, social media posts, and online advertisements. Meanwhile, for those really interested in showing their mainstream beer pride, some Busch Latte gear is also being sold for a limited time including things like koozies and T-shirts (though at $32 a pop for a T-shirt, your money may be better spent on a month’s supply of Busch Light).

Busch suggests that the campaign is meant to remind people that Busch beer is a cold, non-PSL option that can be enjoyed all year round. (Though if you want serious fall beer suggestions that aren’t pumpkin spiced, we have that list covered for you.) Slogans include things like “Why get a venti when you could get a six pack” and the significantly snappier “We call our baristas ‘bartenders.’”

That said, trading out a caffeinated latte for a 4.1-percent ABV light beer isn’t really an even swap in any situation—be it one where you’re looking for an equivalent buzz or an equivalent flavor. If you’re really looking to trade an espresso drink for a beer, there are plenty of great coffee stouts out there that might be up your alley—or even actual latte beers. In fact, the Anheuser-Busch-owned Breckenridge Brewery makes a Nitro Fall Seasonal Pumpkin Spice Latte beer. Funny how one brand’s joke is another brand’s reality.

Still, Busch has never claimed to be fancy beer. And in this case, that’s what makes their latte campaign work.

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