Bud Light turned an awkward situation into a marketing opportunity by issuing a cease and desist letter as read by a medieval-ish town crier.
Defending one’s IP is normally an ugly affair between two parties, but Bud Light decided to keep things well, light. Modist Brewing Company not-so-modestly adopted the name “Dilly Dilly” for its latest beer recipe—a catchphrase used in a series of Bud Light commercials set in the Middle Ages. Rather than get mad at the copyright infringement, Bud Light got creative.
Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA debuted at noon on Friday and by 2:15 pm, an actor burst into the brewery dressed in medieval garb. The “town crier” proceeded to read the cease and desist letter, which had been hand-written on a scroll.
With all the fervor of a Shakespearian thespian, the town crier read aloud a formal request to make Modist’s latest brew a limited-edition run. As a peace offering, the letter also offered two employees a free trip to the Super Bowl. A video of the reading was posted to Modist Brewing Company’s social media pages, along with a post saying that they would re-name the beer “Coat Tails.” The scroll is now hanging on the wall at the brewery.
The entire message reads as follows:
Dear friend of the Crown, Modist Brewing Company,
Congratulations on the launch of your new beer, Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA! Let it be known that we believe any beer shared between friends is a fine beer indeed. And we are duly flattered by your loyal tribute. However, “Dilly Dilly” is the motto of our realm, so we humbly ask that you keep this to a limited-edition, one-time-only run. This is by order of the king. Disobedience shall be met with additional scrolls, then a formal warning, and finally, a private tour of the Pit of Misery. Please send a raven, letter, or electronic mail to let us know that you agree to this request. Also, we will be in your fair citadel of Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, and would love to offer two thrones to said game for two of your finest employees to watch the festivities and enjoy a few Bud Lights. On us.
Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” ads began popping up a month ago during NFL and college football games. Set in the Dark Ages, the light-hearted spots were timed with the new season of Game of Thrones but have taken on a life of their own. The spots depict royals toasting friends and peasants hanging out in the Pit of Misery. “Dilly Dilly” is the greeting or exclamation appropriate for any situation, much as someone might yell “Huzzah” at the Renaissance Festival.
“’Dilly Dilly’ doesn’t mean anything,” Anheuser-Busch InBev chief marketing officer Miguel Patricio told Business Insider. “That’s the beauty of it. I think that we all need our moments of nonsense and fun. And I think that ‘Dilly Dilly,’ in a way, represents that.”
Among beer lovers, the phrase “Dilly Dilly” has gone viral—popping up around social media and among friends. Unlicensed t-shirts have even appeared online bearing the catchphrase, although whether they will also be visited by a town crier remains to be seen.
Until then, Bud Light stayed true to its campaign message by taking a light-hearted approach to an otherwise awkward situation.