- Pabst Blue Ribbon unveiled a campaign exploring what the American Dream means to millennials, per a news release. The effort was inspired by millennials being the most racially diverse adult generation in American history, with 43% identifying as multicultural, per data cited by the company.
- Pabst partnered with digital media company Vice on two documentaries and a series of portraits about the ever-evolving American Dream that will run around the Memorial Day and Fourth of July holidays. The videos spotlight the diversity of modern America, and feature Niecee X, a poet and leader of the Black Women's Defense League; Subhi, a Syrian refugee; Erika, a police officer and veteran; Violet, a Texas drag queen; Mai, a Vietnamese farmer and Outspoken Bean, a Houston poet.
- As part of the campaign, the beer brand is also giving Americans across the country the chance to share their own dreams via a national hotline. The Pabst Blue Ribbon America Dreaming hotline (1-833-DREAM-ON) is live now, and people are encouraged to call in and record a voicemail describing their own individual American Dream.
Marketers often create patriotic-themed campaigns around Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, but Pabst is attempting to modernize the idea by embracing a multi-cultural approach that includes voices not traditionally represented in consumer-facing marketing, such as drag queens, refugees and social justice activists. Not only are younger Americans more diverse, they also want to see more diversity expressed in advertising and media. In a Harris Poll from 2017, about seven in 10 consumers age 18 to 34 said they prefer consuming movies and TV with a multicultural cast.
Pabst Blue Ribbon is the latest brand to experiment with different video formats like documentaries to cast a spotlight on social issues. By partnering with Vice — which is known for its edgier documentary output — the brewer might be able to tap into the publisher's largely millennial-centered audience. Mercedes-Benz recently took a similar approach with a "Tough Conversations" campaign that featured a TV documentary hosted by the punk icon Henry Rollins, which looked to challenge ideas and stereotypes around toughness.
By using millennials and their diverse backgrounds as subjects, Pabst can also tap into a fairly recent transformation for the brand from a cheaper, old-school brew into a favorite among younger consumers, and the more progressive "hipster" crowd, in particular. The campaign also comes as millennials have been a tougher market to reach for traditional beer brands, as many prefer wine, spirits or craft beer.