Boston Beer Company Creates New Ads for Samuel Adams Sam ‘76

A bevy of new advertisements for one of Boston Beer Company’s core Samuel Adams beers, Sam ’76, hit the brewery’s YouTube channel today.

The commercials, which carry the tagline “I can taste my beer,” feature drinkers “finally” discovering taste in their beverage.

In one ad, a couple is kissing in a crowded sports bar when the woman – who appears to have ordered a mixed drink — figures out that she can “taste” her date’s beer on his lips.

Another ad features a young man in a denim shirt – similar to the type company founder and chairman Jim Koch is known to wear – realizing that he can, indeed, taste his beer as he takes in a baseball game. Other individuals – a woman watching the game at home with friends and the umpire behind home plate – also realize they can taste Sam ’76.

A third spot shows a man holding a can of Sam ’76 and excitedly waking up a woman (presumably his significant other) in the middle of the night to share the good news: He can taste his beer.

The company also created a 30-second supercut (below) that features scenes from all three ads.

At the end of each spot, Koch exclaims, “Samuel Adams Sam ’76: Finally, a refreshing lager that you can taste,” as footage of the beer being poured and a redesigned can package are displayed on the screen.

The campaign builds on the two core messages from previous Sam ’76 ads – refreshment and flavor – but departs from prior messaging about the product being “the perfect union of lager and ale.”

Instead, Boston Beer has elected to position Sam ’76 as a “crushable” lager that checks in at 4.7 percent ABV and 128 calories, all facts that are now printed on the front of the new labels.

A Boston Beer company spokeswoman did not respond to questions about the new ads as of press time.

The new Sam ’76 commercials are the first ads the company has created since hiring former Welch’s Foods president Lesya Lysyj as its second-ever CMO in March.

According to market research firm IRI, volume sales of Sam ’76 at multi-outlet and convenience stores (MULC) were down 15.9 percent year-to-date, and the brand has suffered nearly $1.3 million in off-premise retail losses through May 19.

During the company’s first-quarter earnings call this year, CEO Dave Burwick said Boston Beer had “some work to do” on turning around Sam ’76.

Earlier this year, Boston Beer reformulated and rebranded its Samuel Adams Summer Ale to be “lighter and brighter” and have a more citrus-forward flavor.

Off-premise (MULC) volume sales of Boston Beer’s Samuel Adams seasonal SKU, which includes other offerings beyond Summer Ale, were down 6.9 percent through May 19, according to IRI.

Despite Samuel Adams declines, portfolio-wide volume sales for Boston Beer Company are up 13.8 percent, according to IRI, thanks to skyrocketing volume sales of Truly Hard Seltzer, and continued growth for Twisted Tea (+12.9 percent). Through May 19, volume sales of the Truly Hard Seltzer berry mixed pack were up more than 600 percent.

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