Anheuser-Busch Airs AD Featuring Paintball
By David Shaw
I must admit I was pumped. Here I am watching my Thursday night line up and on comes a Bud-Light commercial featuring paintball. I was hoping and hollering and jumping up and down. The neighbors must have thought I was insane. Paintball on a Bud-Light commercial wooooo hooooooo. My excitement would not last for long, however, as I watched the commercial. The ref comes on wearing some goofy colored glasses in what I would assume is the field’s staging area, saying they are playing for Bud-Light today. Nothing wrong with that, huh? We have all done it. We have bet beer on the game to be consumed off the field at a gathering later that evening. In this case the field owner was offering it as a prize. Well that is somewhat questionable. Then, what to my eyes behold but the camera cuts to the players huddled around the ref. No goggles down, no barrel blocking devices on. Then what do they do? They open fire at close range on the ref. The ref says wait, wait no you must capture the flag first, waving the flag in the air. Then they do it again. Open fire… Lighting the poor guy up. The commercial goes out as the ref goes to the field house and orders a Bud Light and then is opened fire on again while standing in the open window of the field house. Needless to say the ref was not the only one fired up after seeing the commercial. I immediately sat down at my trusty computer and e-mailed Anheuser-Busch a raving complaint. Then I continued on to write this article.
I ask you the paintballer, how long are we going to stand buy and let paintball be portrayed in such a negative manner? True, it is a somewhat positive step to even be featured in a prime time commercial. However, negative ads such as this do more to hurt this sport that we all love and have helped grow leaps and bounds in the past twenty plus years. All we need to see is a bunch of guys running through the woods with goggles up shooting some guy who is wearing no more than a pair of safety sunglasses and not even having a gun to protect himself. Also, as someone who has reffed many a game of paintball all we need is some newby who saw the Bud-Light commercial gunning for us. As if we don’t take enough real hits while doing our job as a ref but some guy just gunning for the ref is not what we need.
Paintball is ripe for corporate America to start using in commercials, etc. However, they must do so responsibly. I for one am willing and able to consult on a commercial featuring paintball and show them how to do one right. How about this for an idea, a bunch of guys get together for a big day of paintball and end it at the local eating or drinking establishment enjoying the continued company of their friends and a few good beers. Toasting, reliving the day, something we all have done right. It doesn’t get any better than that, eh? Or how about showing the fast paced hard day of tournament ball and relaxing at the end of the day with a cold one. Nothing wrong with that either. However, commercials that make us look like gun wielding buffoons is not what we need.
I encourage you the reader to do just what I have. Express your distaste to Annheuser-Busch on this display of stupidity. I encourage you to boycott their product until they apologize to the paintball community. Furthermore, I encourage you to go to their website and send them an email telling them how you fee. Be honest, be firm, but express your views in a totally mature manner they will have no choice but to listen. You may contact the company at the address and phone numbers below:
You can also snail mail your comments to Anheuser-Busch, Inc.
One Busch Place, St. Louis, MO 63118 or call them toll free at 1-800- DIAL-BUD.
There is only one way for us to get this kind of crap off the air and that is to present a united front. Please email, write, or phone but do so in a professional manner. Express your opinion and tell them you will not purchase any more of their products until they get the add off the air, apologize to the paintball community, and/or portray paintball in the light it deserves.