4 responses to “Magic Hat vs. West Sixth brewhaha: will MH win the battle that costs them the war?

  1. when i was vice chair at a big ad agency, i would point out copycat advertising (like the three or four companies now doing ads with pictures off hundred dollar bills pasted over people’s faces (feed the pig, one satellite tv company, etc.))

    every single time i’d say an ad was similar to something already out there, the creative, would say, “No, no, no. The person in their commercial is wearing a blue shirt and says, ‘Whiz bang! The power to clean” and the person in our ad is wearing a blue and white shirt and says, “Powerful clean! Bang bang!” don’t you see? It’s completely different.”

    creatives love to bloviate about the sancity of creativity and the importance of being different, but they all wear the same black jeans, have the same earrings, live on the same street in greenwich, ct not greenwich village. whenever you’d go down to the creative bullpen, what you’ll see is them watching movies, reels of tv commercials or flipping through magazines for “inspiration.”

    you post-modernists call it referential. i call it ripping off.

    i loved creatives until i met some. we see the occasional piece of genius on tv and reach the conclusion that geniuses produced it. more like monkeys with laptops.

    I actually tried to sell one of the ad moguls on setting up a shop where we just showed clients hundreds of spots, mapped which ones they liked, and them melanged them, but the creatives revolted.

  2. Great read. I’m from KY and West Sixth is being very rude about the whole thing and people are taking Magic Hat off their taps and shelves because of this. Magic Hat is being nice and professional on their front and the whole thing is stupid. West Sixth is going to lose money by either paying court fees, paying court fees AND Magic Hat, or by having to change their logo. They should just tweak it and get it over with. Both brews are great and I would hate to see West Sixth go under just for trying to “take a stand” (as they’re calling it)

    • Incorrect, West Sixth has offered to make changes to the logo in an effort to resolve this. No word from Magic Hat. West Sixth will lose money paying its attorneys, but as Mr. Smith notes, Magic Hat stands to lose on the PR front…namely I’d say that they stand to lose alot of their craft beer drinking base.

      In part they will lose drinkers who didn’t realize that Magic Hat had been purchased by a conglomerate, those drinkers deciding that Magic Hat is no longer a craft beer and deserves no better position on the beer hierarchy than Bud/Miller/Coors. Worth drinking in a pinch but no longer something to seek out or choose if there are other options. Secondly, they will lose drinkers who see Magic Hat’s lawsuit as corporate bullying of a local brewer in a craft industry that is community minded and collaborative. The lawsuit also highlighting that Magic Hat is now neither craft nor collaborative, despite its kitsch marketing.

      As to the wisdom of West Sixth’s “stand” – I support them and their attempt to resolve this issue. If it were my brewery, my position is that “we don’t negotiate with asshats”

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