Say the word “America” this summer and you won’t be referring just to a country north of Mexico and south of Canada. You’ll also be saying the new, official name of a mass-produced lager owned by multinational Belgian-Brazilian brewing conglomerate Anheuser-Busch InBev and sold throughout the U.S.
This summer, Budweiser becomes “America.”
The branding move, which renames the beer after the country where it was created, coincides with a summer dominated by the Olympics and an interminable presidential campaign, alongside the typically patriotic activities of July 4th cookouts and baseball games.
“We thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America,” Tosh Hall, creative director at branding firm JKR, told Fast Company.
Though Budweiser has long altered its cans and bottles during summer to display American flags and other patriotic symbols, the move represents the first time the company gone so far as to formally rename the beer.
AB InBev, Budweiser’s foreign parent company, applied with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau to make the switch, AdAge reported Monday.
Though the label’s design will remain largely the same, much of the text will be replaced with patriotic slogans. The decidedly undemocratic “King of Beers” tagline will become “E Pluribus Unum.” The “Anheuser-Busch” text around the base of the can will read “Liberty and Justice for All.”
Budweiser explained that the company, which sold itself to Belgium-based conglomerage InBev in 2008, had been building its American image for years. “If we’d launched Budweiser yesterday, as a new brand, we probably wouldn’t have had the license to do it,” Ricardo Marques, a vice president, told Fast Company. “The work of the past few decades allowed us to build this brand as a truly American brand.”
Other famous Americas include the 1970s rock band America, Marvel superhero Captain America and Amerigo Vespucci, the 16th-century Italian explorer and cartographer whose name now graces much of the Western Hemisphere.