Anheuser-Busch decides it will just give Budweiser away for free

By Rebecca Cullers on Tue Sep 28 2010

Free-beer

Flagging sales have caused Budweiser to declare Wednesday as "Budweiser National Happy Hour." Bud will hand out free samples from six ounces all the way up to 12, where the law allows, in "trendy bars and eateries." The goal is to appeal to the under-30 set who, according to Jim Koch, founder of Boston Beer Co., have adopted craft beer the way Gen X adopted wine. Bud's ranking among national product brands (not just beer) has dropped from 16th in 2003 to 220th in 2010, and Budweiser unit sales were down 9 percent last year. At the same time, craft-beer sales rose 9 percent in the first half of 2010, and craft brews nearly doubled their market share in 2009 (from 4 percent to 7 percent). Of course, free beer is only Bud's latest strategy. I think Anheuser-Busch will see a lot more success in continuing to buy small craft brews and distribute them without any Budweiser mention. Shock Top and Hop Hound, two of A-B's suds, are rebranded craft brews. Even if it's free, the only way you'll get die-hard craft fanatics like me to try Bud again is to change the recipe.

A.C. Moore gives kids a safe place to trade their evil Silly Bandz

By Rebecca Cullers on Wed Jul 14 2010

Silly-bandz copy

You haven't seen advertising for them, but you've probably seen them—Silly Bandz, the mostly animal-shaped rubber bands that have become the latest must-have for elementary-school kids and the latest headache for teachers who've been banning them en masse from classrooms across the nation. In a smart move, arts and crafts chain A.C. Moore has jumped headlong into the trend by planning to hold the world's largest Silly Bandz trading event at all 135 of its stores on Thursday. Kids get two free bands to take home and will "learn about Silly Bandz storage options" (in other words, get their parents to buy some storage cases and the craft stuff required to personalize them). Thanks to A.C. Moore, kids who've been banned from trading these things at school will have a new place to trade them—and of course, buy more bands. I see what you did there, A.C. Moore. Smart.

DC Comics gives Wonder Woman a costume change at age 69

Posted on Thu Jul 1 2010

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For the first time since her inception (if you ignore the outfit she donned when she lost her powers in 1968), Wonder Woman is getting a major costume change. This is no mere adding of gold trim or Power-Girl-esque nipple cutout: It's a full-blown redesign that—shock of all shocks—will actually leave Wonder Woman more covered. For her historic 600th issue, DC Comics will unveil an alternate timeline and the new costume. Though she's been a feminist icon for decades, Wonder Woman never really dressed the part. Those bracelets of submission that commemorate the Amazon's defeat by Hercules and allow her powers to be removed if she's chained by men but not women? Yeah, not feminist. (Don't believe me? Legend of Wonder Woman, volume 1 issue 3.) But they eventually stopped calling them that. Looking at the new design, I think maybe, just maybe, they might be trying to capture more of a female audience for the series. But don't worry, fanboys: She won't be getting a breast reduction anytime soon.

—Posted by Rebecca Cullers


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