It started the 2000s as a has-been brand name, so pointless and uncool that it was perfectly poised to become cool when it was touched by the dark, abstract magic that drives consumer trends. No schmarty-pants marketer can take credit for architecting the Phoenix-like rise that followed; the brand was owned by a charitable trust that knows about as much about consumer tastes as you’d expect a charitable trust to know. It didn’t hurt that PBR was the beer of choice for the wacky Dennis Hopper character in the movie “Blue Velvet” but the brand’s revival was pretty much organic, from what I can tell.
Today, the company has caught up with the trend. Its web site plays up its hipness, allowing visitors to create mashup art with its logo and post pictures. It seems to sponsor the occasional art or music event. Obviously its consumers like drinking the stuff, but the brand’s marketing is all about anti-pretense and authentic when the reality of its business is nothing but pretension and inauthenticity.