The Two-Way
2:44 pm
Thu August 4, 2011

Budweiser Dresses Up Its Cans For 2011

Is Budweiser puttin' on the Ritz? The self-crowned King of Beers will soon be sold in a newly designed can — one whose graphics are dominated by a bow tie. And the can's new look was created by a London-based design firm.

Not to be judgmental, but all of that may seem a little... highgbrow, for the beer that is most likely to constitute the "six pack" part of "Joe Six-Pack."

The new design seems to reflect Anheuser-Busch's international ownership — it was bought by a Belgian-Brazilian corporation in 2008, and its parent company is now known as Anheuser-Busch InBev.

And discussing the makeover, AB InBev Brands vice president Frank Abenante says, "This new visual identity is one of many steps in our quest to reinforce Budweiser's role as a true global beer brand. Together with our unifying global creative idea, the new global packaging look and feel will reinforce Budweiser's bond with consumers around the world."

And the company may have felt a change was needed, to freshen the look of its Beechwood-aged lager. U.S. sales of Bud to wholesalers reportedly fell by by 7 percent in 2010.

Still, if you needed any proof of Budweiser's All-American history, consider the photo above, showing the 12 main versions of the can sold since 1936. The can second from the far left was made in olive drab for overseas troops in the years 1942-1945 — "to give the cans a camouflage effect," Anheuser-Busch says.

But the times they are a-changing: The new Bud can includes a Quick Response (QR) code — the mottled computer squares that smartphones can scan and use for things like going to a website, or sharing information.

Copyright 2011 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.