Budweiserâ€™s Sudsy Salute to the Troops
Budweiser beer, a major sponsor of the Tampa Bay Rays, has a commercial running at the Trop that I and a number of friends find really offensive. Whenever a company (or a political party) wants to curry favor with â€œAmerican citizens,â€ it makes a big show of saluting the troops. No team salutes the troops more than the Rays do, but thatâ€™s appropriate here, because McDill Air Force base is in Tampa, and the Rays have local boys who have returned from Afghanistan and Iraq, and itâ€™s only right that the team salutes them.
But then Budweiser rears its ugly head. The spot calls for the fans sitting in the stands at Tropicana Field to raise their chilled, golden glass of Budweiser beer in tribute to the troops, and as it asks the fans to do so, the cameraman in the Trop seeks out the boozers in the crowd willing to do so. I just shake my head, and I know some of the fans sitting with me feel the same way. Glorifying beer drinking isnâ€™t what the Rays ought to be doing, even though beer sales are an important revenue source. Whatâ€™s next: â€œHey Rays fans, raise your glasses of Budweiser as we salute all the high school graduates.â€ This is a promotion that has got to go.