Recently, I met an old fraternity brother out at a local establishment to watch the latest installment of an MMA fight night. Typical bar / restaurant setting. There is nothing about the place that screams one orientation or another. It’s just a bar that serves pretty good food in a relatively inviting environment.
After woofing some loaded nachos and washing it back with an IPA, I was ready for something lighter. Something refreshing. Something like a Bud Light. Golf course beer. I honestly didn’t think twice about my decision and when our waitress reappeared, I quickly made it known that a large, cold pint of Bud Light was what I desired.
You’d think from the look on her face that I had just ordered a pint of hippopotamus milk. She literally took a step back, never breaking eye contact with me and asked if she had heard me correctly, even repeating my order back to me. When I reassured her that that’s the beverage I wanted, she dropped two words that hit me right between the eyes. “You’re brave.” Laughing, she turned and casually walked away to retrieve my drink.
It was at this moment that I realized that I had been beer shamed. What the hell? I didn’t even know that was a thing. 6 months ago, that order would’ve gone over as natural as asking for some extra ketchup, but now, you gotta be brave to order a Bud Light? It’s absolutely fascinating to me how fast we move as a society. Like a flock of birds, no matter how many we are, we can move together in one direction or another at the drop of a dime.
I take this beer shaming not to heart, but rather, to head. I look at it as something learned, something valuable that makes me really understand the kind of immense power and thus responsibility we as marketers and creative problem solvers have as we engage with the rest of mankind.