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Monday, January 31, 2011

Coors, Cool Like Burt Reynolds

A little while back, I received an email from someone at Coors wanting to send me something from their latest promotion. I get a lot of inappropriate emails from PR people who have clearly never read my blog, but this was special: it came not long after I cited Pete Coors as the namesake of a DMS Award. Clearly, they weren't big readers. So of course I said: "Sure, send it along."

Last week, this is what arrived:
  1. A Smokey and the Bandit (1977) DVD
  2. Smokey and the Bandit poster
  3. Coors beer cozy
  4. Coors beer mat
  5. Four vintage reproduction cans, drained of beer
At first, I thought the beers were just empty. Nope--they've actually been drained. If you click on the photo, you can see the hole in the bottom of the can laying down. So, not only did Coors not send me beer, they went to a great deal of effort to make sure I didn't get any beer. (Maybe they are readers, after all.) I received the usual press release touting Coors as the greatest beer ever brewed by human hands, along with a gauzy retrospective of their marketing schemes through the decades. Bizarrely, though, there's absolutely no mention of Smokey in the Bandit or why they would send a copy of the DVD and poster to me. What am I to make of all this?

As a sometime scholar of semiotics, this is my reading:
  1. Coors is cool, like the Bandit's mustache.
  2. Coors is sexy, like 61-year-old Jackie Gleason.
  3. Coors is aimed at consumers old enough to reminisce fondly about the fun times of the mid-70s.
  4. Coors is best drunk ice cold.
  5. Coors is unfit for human consumption.
So there you have it. I suppose I should mention that Coors is excited to be releasing their Heritage Cans in February and March, and hopes you'll race out to buy them. But be forwarned: they may well not have been drained of beer in advance!


  1. I think it's funny that Coors is currently marketing their beer as something to be drunk by cowboys who sound like Sam Elliot, but also apparenty to be enjoyed at banquets. How many banquets does the average cowboy attend in a year?

  2. Coors is all over Smokey and the Bandit. I coincidentally just watched this the other day and laughed because Coors was EVERYWHERE.

  3. Anon - Funny you mention Sam Elliot. He lives in Portland and is (from multiple reports) a big Ninkasi Tricerahops fan.

  4. They must be readers, I think. I'll drink a Coors light every once in a while. It's the only industrial lager I don't hate (well, one of two...).

  5. The premise of Smokey and the Bandit is the bootlegging of Coors.