DDB's Below-the-Waist Bud Light Lime Ad Announces: "Our Sales Are Down!"

Last Updated Sep 9, 2009 12:16 PM EDT

Just when you thought beer advertising couldn't get any worse, along comes DDB with a viral video for Bud Light Lime that relies entirely on a joke about anal sex. The ad sends the unsubtle signal that Bud Light's sales are down and the client is desperate.

The viral offering starts with a girl in a bikini by the pool (where else?) saying, "I got it in the can for the first time last night. I loved it." She's followed by a suburban mom-type: "I never thought I'd enjoy getting it in the can as much as I do." And so on, and so forth.

Needless to say, BL Lime is now available in cans as well as bottles.

Ad Age makes a good case that this is all about declining sales of Bud Light. I'd go further. If you look at other categories with declining sales and young, male target demographics -- and in a recession, that's a lot of categories -- you'll also find juvenile, sexist, porn-based advertising.

With revenues declining, clients and their agencies are more desperate to get the attention of their customers. And a butt-sex joke certainly grabs people's attention.

Unfortunately for DDB and Anheuser-Busch, consumers are more media-literate than they used to be. And while lines such as "I didn't expect to get it in the can at the company party but one thing led to another, and sure enough, there I was -- getting it in the can" may be mildly diverting for about three seconds, the lasting impression is, "Wow. This is desperate."

That may be the overall legacy of DDB's "get it in the can" campaign: To teach consumers that when something this sophomoric comes along, it's a giant flag signalling that the brand is a loser; "we have declining sales!"

Was that really the message AB wanted to send?