“Life’s too short to drink cheap beer.” – Warsteiner button

You can’t put frosting on manure.” – John Madden

I don’t often drink beer but when I do, I prefer it not to be Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR)” – With Apologies to Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World.”

(Scene: A Pabst Blue Ribbon marketing guru walks along a Southern California beach and finds a magic lantern. He rubs the lantern and a genie emerges offering to grant him a wish…)

PBR marketing pro: “I would like there to be finally peace and harmony in the Middle East?”

Genie: “What is the Middle East?”

PBR pro: “See this map? Here is Israel, the Gaza Strip, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan…”

Genie: “Whoa…these people have been at each other’s throats for hundreds of years…Is there anything else I can do?

PBR: “Can you make Pabst Blue Ribbon, cool?”

Genie: “Can I see that map again?”

The definition of “oxymoron” is a figure of speech in which incongruous or seemingly contradictory terms appear side by side including: legal brief, paid volunteer, plastic glasses, pretty ugly, clearly confused, Beaver Nation and Pabst Blue Ribbon is cool.

pbr

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is duly charged with preserving species that are threatened or endangered with extinction such as: marbled murrelets, northern spotted owls, diamond back rattlesnakes and alligators. Should we also be concerned about saving Pabst Blue Ribbon, the Mother of All Mediocre Lagers?

As a resident of the State of Oregon, we Pacific Northwest-types know a thing or two about rain, salmon, pinot noirs and microbrews. Checking out a public house recently in Eugene, there was a list of ales and lagers to imbibe (mostly the former) and it included a Ninkasi Total Domination IPA, an Oakshire Oatmeal Stout, a Widmer Hefeweizen, a Deschutes Black Butte Porter, a Red Hook ESB, a New Belgium Fat Tire (amber ale) etc. For those who prefer making love in a canoe, there were the predictable offerings: Bud Light and Coors Light.

At the bottom of the beer list was the mysterious listing: “PBR.” What the f… is “PBR?”

It took a while for the little light to go on. PBR is Pabst Blue Ribbon of Milwaukee…err…Los Angeles, California. If you are looking for bad boob jobs, one should head to LaLaLand. Now if you are seeking out desultory lagers, LA is your place as well.

“PBR” is a Hail Mary marketing campaign championing Pabst Blue Ribbon “coolness” and it is already claiming a few victims. This point was evidenced this morning by the empty Pabst Blue Ribbon 40-ounce bottle lying beside the Pioneer Cemetery, located adjacent to the University of Oregon campus (the irony does not escape me).

Carefully picking up the empty, I noted on the label that Pabst Blue Ribbon was celebrated as America’s best beer in 1893. And the Chicago Cubs claimed their most recent World Series championship in 1908. Heck, anyone can have a bad century…and then some.

As a public relations instructor at the university level, I believe that everyone and every organization should be able to tell their story (e.g., Lance Armstrong on Oprah). At the same time, PR, marketing and advertising pros are not miracle workers. And truth and morals should not be flexible.

Maybe, your great-grandfather (and/or great-grandmother) consumed Pabst Blue Ribbon, and your grandparents as well. Quite possibly your father and mother both took a sip from the white can with the blue ribbon as well. Instead of projecting youthful coolness with the acronym, PBR, wouldn’t it be more honest to celebrate Pabst Blue Ribbon as the lager that made your ancestors, your ancestors?

http://www.schiesshouse.com/beer_quotations_and_humor.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Most_Interesting_Man_in_the_World

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pabst_Blue_Ribbon

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