Beer TV Commercials Promise What Your life Might Be Like…
While this case is different than the Bob & Doug McKenzie trying to hassle a beer company for free beer, it is not far off. Here is a case where good intentions look just plain foolish.
Beer Commercials Aren’t Depictions of Real Life
As difficult as it might be to swallow, it’s true. All of the advertisements you see for beer commercials do not depict things that typically happen in real life. Dalmatians and Clydesdale horses do not become best friends forever. Frogs don’t croak in time so they can say “Budweiser.” Apples don’t fall out of the sky and hit you on the head if you don’t order a Redd’s Apple Ale. Unfortunately, one man by the name of Richard Overton never seemed to get this memo. This is an old case, but a good one, at least from an entertainment perspective. As with many of these cases though, it is always good to look a little deeper to get at the truth.
Where Are the Beer Commercial Ladies?
In 1991, Overton decided that he would sue Anheuser-Busch for false and misleading advertising. He also claimed that this false advertising eventually led to “emotional distress, mental injury, and financial loss”. The ads for their beer at the time depicted a fantasy in which those who drank the beer were surrounded by beautiful women and were suddenly in a tropical setting. He said that his suit was because the ads were untrue. People would open up their beer and they didn’t transport to the beach, and there weren’t all of those beautiful women. The courts dismissed the case, naturally.
Overton has gone down in history as a guy who couldn’t tell the difference between reality and fantasy, as well as someone who was simply looking for a financial payday. However, keep in mind that he only sued for $10,000. It wasn’t as though he was looking to get rich from the suit – $10,000 was not much even then. If it wasn’t about the money, then what prompted the lawsuit?
What’s Overton Really About?
Overton did an interview in 2007, which helps to shed some more light on what actually happened. It turns out that Overton is not actually a drinker, and that he’s been married for decades. He had a problem with the ads because his kids were watching the commercials and they were fans of Spud MacKenzie, the Budweiser mascot at the time. He felt that his children were being drawn into a “culture of alcohol”. He wanted to do something about it, so he came up with this lawsuit.
While that might seem noble, it really was an outlandish way to go about it. Instead of making the company, and others, look at the way they were advertising, it simply made him look like a fool. The media surely didn’t help set things straight, at least not for quite a few years. By then, he was known as the guy who thought beer was magical. In addition, rather than blaming advertising and pop culture for all of the evils in the world, he could have talked with his children about those commercials. Still, this makes for an interesting story, even though the “reality” of the case is different from the fantasy that most people believe.