In a fitting metaphor for the country’s national anxiety, a former cultural icon that peaked in the 1950s and was taken over by multinational interests in the 21st century is now called “America.”
Until the November 2016 election, Budweiser will replace its own name with the country’s, spelled out in the familiar blue cursive. Summer is the best-selling season for beer—about one-third of all U.S. sales are between Memorial Day and Labor Day—and Budweiser has bedecked its cans with the American flag and the Statue of Liberty for several years. In recent Super Bowls, the company has taken pains to remind viewers just how much it loves its country. Domestic drinkers are perhaps just a few years a way from a special-edition Bud brewed “with bits of home-spun American flag.”
This year’s can is bumper-stickered with national cheer. The “King of Beers” slogan has been swapped out for “E Pluribus Unum,” or “Out of Many, One,” which is a fitting slogan for the brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev SA/NV, a multinational corporation headquartered in Belgium and named after an American and Brazilian beer company. “We thought nothing was more iconic than Budweiser and nothing was more iconic than America,” said Tosh Hall, creative director at the beer can’s branding firm JKR, eliding the beer’s more cosmopolitan roots.