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Summary:

So what do you get when you bring a macrobrewer’s mentality to the microcontent world? How about tired sketch comedy cliches, prehistoric treatment of women and more product placement than one can reasonably stomach. In a desperate attempt to be edgy and authentic on one hand […]

So what do you get when you bring a macrobrewer’s mentality to the microcontent world? How about tired sketch comedy cliches, prehistoric treatment of women and more product placement than one can reasonably stomach.

bud-tv1.jpgIn a desperate attempt to be edgy and authentic on one hand and broadly appealing on the other, the new Bud.tv effort from Budweiser puts writers from the Howard Stern show and bit actors from Will Ferrell movies into a format I can only describe as “forcibly viral by committee.”

Not to say that that the content won’t appeal to its target demo, the twentysomething American male. But from a business standpoint, they’ve spent a lot of money on production in order to get that “cheap and cheesy” feel. Which is the kind of spendy, marketing-centric inauthenticity that tends turn off the very hipster tastemaker the throwback styling and meta-humor about beer marketing would indicate they’re trying to court.

I’m not sure what Lorne Manly was watching when he wrote this long analysis in the New York Times Magazine, but it couldn’t possibly have been Bud.tv:

Bud.TV may be a marketing venture at heart, but it is marketing sotto voce.

Each “Happy Hour” short starts with an intro theme featuring — wait for it — a bottle of Budweiser coasting down a bar into the hands of a thirsty customer. “Donnie the Life Coach,” a randy neanderthal, makes his office in (probably the same) bar. So, sure, it’s sotto voce — but only relative to the ear-splitting decibels emitted by the rest of the Anheuser-Busch marketing juggernaut.

Of course, it was an uphill struggle to win my love from the moment I went to Bud.tv and not a single video was on the page. I had to click, which opened a new, fixed-size window, another pet peeve. Gripes about the Bud.tv registration experience from paidContent and Lost Remote echoed my own, which I’d be charitable in describing as onerously creepy. Once I finally did get to watch the videos, the display was tiny and the navigation needlessly confusing.

We would embed a sample video here so you could judge for yourself, but that’s not an option. You’ll have to put yourself through the registration process if you want to take a look around. Yup, real viral.

So good luck with this, Anheuser-Busch. But I won’t be tuning in again any time soon.

  1. i was raped by the registration process. it didn’t recognize me, so i had to call a phone# and enter my drivers license info and more. even if they were hiding good videos (or… porn?) behind this foul process, it wouldn’t be worth it.

    then there’s the content. yes, what a waste of former SNL talent. i have to say i thought donnie briggs was kinda funny and had inspired, tasteless writing. other than that, the only thing i wanted to spend time on was TriggerStreet films, which I may as well watch on TriggerStreet.com.

    an interesting concept, disasterously implemented.

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  2. how come you have written about this service but do not actually link to the page? I mean even if you are going to criticize a project – why not link to it? I may be looking into this too much, just happened to have seen a few sites without the link.

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  3. I did actually link to one of the shows. But I just linked it for you, Eric.

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  4. […] NewTeeVee says its flat and stale – I tend to agree […]

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  5. Thanks! I like what what you have been writing here and appreciate the immediate response. I hope you also enjoy the feedback. Always good to keep the dialogue open.

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  6. […] Lost Remote and PaidContent also point out that for BudTV, “sharing” consists of cutting and pasting a URL into an email to a friend. Wow. How 1996. And the registration process is onerous and confusing (not to mention likely useless as far as age verification is concerned). NewTeeVee didn’t think much of it either. This is the future of TV? I hope not. Technorati Tags: advertising, budtv, TV, Web2.0 | Share This […]

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  7. I thought the Happy Hour stuff was pretty odd and funny. Seemed like smart stuff and a bit of a deviation for Bud stuff.

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  8. […] Hipster uber-brand Vice has infected another medium with their signature off-color take on news and culture with VBS.TV, instantly making bud.tv a loser in the race to win the favor of web-savvy, educated 18- to 35-year-olds looking for edgy content. For starters, thanks to their use of Brightcove, I can embed this clip of comedian David Cross explaining his tattoos. […]

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  9. […] Hipster uber-brand Vice has infected another medium with their signature off-color take on news and culture with VBS (Visual Basic Script).TV, instantly making bud.tv a loser in the race to win the favor of web-savvy, educated 18- to 35-year-olds looking for edgy content. For starters, thanks to their use of Brightcove, I can embed this clip of comedian David Cross explaining his tattoos. Video after the jump. […]

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  10. […] Bud.tv, which critics including NewTeeVee lambasted for their byzantine age verification checks, apparently doesn’t infringe nearly well enough on your privacy for the likes of state attorney generals. […]

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