Great Mysteries in Marketing Synergies, Def Leppard Edition

One of the challenges of corporate-owned craft brands is reestablishing a sense of authenticity and cool after, well, selling out. There are many approaches, and one classic move is to align a brand with an entity that already defines cool.  Thus it was that AB InBev-owned Elysian made the bold move of partnering with a 41-year-old hair metal band last seen achieving relevance in the MTV era. The members, aged 54-60, are expected to appeal to the rock and roll demographic. I’m not kidding: 

Legendary rock band Def Leppard and Elysian Brewing Company have joined forces to bring you a one-of-a-kind beer, Def Leppard Pale (6% ABV; 37 IBUs) - a collision of legendary British ale with Northwest hops. The collaboration is driven by Def Leppard’s unique interest in craft beer in tandem with Elysian Brewing Company’s indelible passion for music.

I don’t really have a lot to add here. I mean, the whole thing is just ...


Okay, moving along. I would like to point out a further curiosity. Dick Cantwell, the third owner who dissented in the decision to sell Elysian to ABI, seems to have been written out of the history (bolds mine). 

Music has been embedded in Elysian Brewing Company’s soul since its founding in 1996. Both co-founders are music lovers and call the birthplace of grunge, Seattle, home. 

Perhaps they contacted Cantwell and he wasn’t a Leppard fan, though that would be hard to imagine.  

I am an old man—not quite Def Leppard old, but getting there—so I don’t know what’s cool. Maybe the artists behind “Photograph” and “Rock of Ages” have staged some kind of miraculous comeback and are on the lips of all 23-year-olds, along with that Childish Gambino video. The ways of young people are mysterious to the old. And yet, certain facts make me think this is not the case:

Someone recently mentioned that I seem to have developed an edge lately, and I do apologize if the above seemed mean. The antics of big beer companies bring out my snark. But mainly, I’ve got a crazy week and I’ll take the low-hanging fruit when it swings by.