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photos by Lara Shipley

Beer Satisficing

February 23rd, 2004 · No Comments

I was noticing that the current crop of Samuel Adams commercials seem to be geared toward folks tormented by the “paradox of choice.” One that’s been running a lot shows a couple of guys looking at a dictionary-sized menu as a haughty waitress with an Austrian accent tells them how many different beers from different countries the bar has. They instantly respond that they’re ready: Sam Adams, please. The frosty waitress cracks a smile, impressed, and an actor dressed as Samuel Adams himself announces: “Sam Adams, Always a Good Choice.”

Not, mind you, the “best choice”—when it comes right down to it, we know that’s not likely to be the case when you’re talking about one of those hypermenus, and it’d probably wreck the ad’s credibility if they claimed as much. Their target here is clearly the guy who knows he’s not going to know which of the barrels of imports and microbrews is actually “best” in this situation, and doesn’t want to be seen ordering a Bud Light. In short, it’s reminding them that they can always fall back on Sam Adams as a “good enough” alternative when out with bourgie friends to whom ordering a Bud Light might sound gauche.

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