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Stanley McChrystal, Bud Light Lime Salutes You

Posted by Abe Sauer on June 25, 2010 05:15 PM

The fallout is complete. There is one clear winner and one clear loser in the recent scandal involving America's (now former) military commander in Afghanistan and Rolling Stone magazine. But could there be another, under the radar, winner?

The controversial Rolling Stone profile that led to his ouster this week notes that the general "prefers Bud Light Lime (his favorite beer) to Bordeaux."

Apparently one of the reasons Stanley McChrystal and his staff were so frank (read: career-suicidally open) with Rolling Stone's reporter was that they were "stuck on a bus" with him from Paris to Berlin, all the while "drinking case after case of Bud Light Lime."

Anheuser-Busch introduced the Bud Light Lime brand extension in April 2008, differentiating the product as "Perfect for summer refreshment" by offering "the citrus taste, expected from a fresh squeezed lime, without a trip to the produce aisle." The beverage was a hit, considered by some as the biggest brand extension of 2009.

Ironically, Bud Light Lime may have cannibalized Anheuser-Busch's other beverage lines for sales. As Lime sales grew, Bud Light experienced some of its worst ever sales numbers for its standard Bud Light product.

After its introduction, the Lime brand struggled to overcome a poor reputation with the gatekeepers of cool. To counter this image, Bud Light Lime enlisted New York hyper-hip musician Santigold (who, interestingly, rebranded since the campaign from Santogold after a legal dust-up over her moniker).

As for McChrystal. He's by no means hip, but could Bud Light Lime have a new unofficial spokesman in McChrystal? Conservatives who are already upset with President Barack Obama have found his dismissal unfair. Could the general's martyrdom and his appreciation for the beverage give the Bud Light Lime brand a new twist, and dare we say, some cojones?

Likely not. In fact, the brand has become a punch line on profiles of the McChrystal brouhaha:

“'He drinks Bud Light Lime?' mused one Senate aide of McChrystal’s beverage of choice. 'I think I’d fire him just for that.'
 
"The real scandal is that General McChrystal’s favorite beer is Bud Light Lime."

"McChrystal's favourite drink is Bud Light Lime. That's grounds for dismissal right there."

Reached for reaction, Anheuser-Busch's media office said it was not commenting on the situation at this time.

Oh well. Maybe now that Smirnoff has iced Bros Icing Bros, Anheuser-Busch may want to consider launching a new underground game, Bros Liming Bros.

The object of the activity is to present a Bro with a Bud Light Lime while in the presence of that Bro's superior or boss. The Bro must then drop to one knee and chug the Bud Light Lime while insulting said superior or boss ... or Commander-in-Chief.

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