Schlitz is a Business School Case Study

I’m a little embarrassed to admit it, but I never knew what happened to Schlitz. When I was a little kid, I remember seeing Schlitz all over the place and thinking it was “the” beer. By the time I started drinking, it was one of those beers I’d drink because I could get a case for $5 (in the 1980s), putting it in the category of Buckhorn, Blatz, Red White and Blue, and Beer (the generic “brand”).

It isn’t just my murky childhood memory. Schlitz was the beer. In fact, for much of the twentieth century, it and Budweiser duked it out for top beer in the United States. But then Budweiser took over that top spot in the late 1950s with effective marketing, and Schlitz fell decidedly to number two.

In response, it decided it would become the most profitable beer in the U.S. and started to slash production costs (now called the “Schlitz Mistake”). When drinkers noticed and its sales plummeted, it responded with an awful marketing campaign that seemed to threaten viewers (now laughingly called the “drink Schlitz or I’ll kill you” campaign).

It’s all laid out in this article that I stumbled across last night.Read the rest

Backward Shi*t*s

Omar and the (Not So) Sacred Vine

Stories like this one are even more alarming when you remember that Iran was pretty westernized in the 1970s.

Iranian judicial authorities have demanded the execution of a 73-year-old retired pilot who was arrested for consuming alcohol.

The state-run Asr-e Iran website reported on February 21 that the representative of the prosecutor’s office in the 9th branch of Tehra’s criminal court, requested the death sentence for a 73-year-old man for “drinking alcohol”.

The man, who is said to have a military doctorate and is a retired pilot, has been arrested in northern Tehran on charges of drunk driving.

The representative of the Tehran Prosecutor’s Office, has claimed that he had been arrested three times before for drinking alcohol and that he had been punished.

Based on the Islamic Penal Code a defendant can face the death penalty after being arrested and punished three times for alcohol consumption. The initial punishment for drinking is usually flogging.… Read the rest