Transfer Pricing Associates

Budweiser Fighting for Brand Strength

post Wednesday January 16, 2013


Brewer Anheuser-Busch has recently requested that Paramount Pictures remove the Budweiser logo from scenes from the movie Flight that depicts the lead character, portrayed by Denzel Washington, flying an airplane while drinking Budweiser, a popular beer in the United States.

The image and reputation related to a brand or trademark typically drives the value of the intangible. One aspect of a consumer’s perspective and opinion of a brand is related to the positive or negative image that is tied to a logo or trademark. When a brand is featured alongside athletes who are valued members of their community or paired with individuals who participate in positively impactful activities, consumers view the reputation of the product or brand more favorably. If a spokesperson is involved in a negative event or conduct that is viewed as inappropriate, the brand and anything related to the spokesperson is also affected by the actions taken.

The recent American blockbuster film, Flight, centers on the story of a functioning alcoholic who is a commercial pilot. Washington’s character regularly consumes alcohol throughout the film, including vodka. There were a handful of brands that the lead character drank, and according to a statement from William Grant & Sons, who distributes vodka in the United States, they did not license their product to appear in the film.

The companies that produce the beverages are concerned that their products will be linked to actions that the general public looks down upon. If there is a real life event related to a commercial pilot who endangers individuals because of illegally consuming alcohol, many consumers will immediately connect this illicit behavior with the products and brands from movies like Flight. Because of the obvious negative consequences from this, these companies are working to distance themselves from any scenarios similar to those depicted in the film. It appears that at this point, Anheuser-Busch has no legal claims or ability to force Paramount Pictures to obscure the logos from the movie.

It is clear from the efforts of the beverage companies, that the appearance and activities associated with their products is very important to their brand management strategy and the preservation of their intellectual property.

Source:Daily Mail

Image Source: Free Digital Photos

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