In May 2018, Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) tied its brand identity to the concept of the American Dream.

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Jillian Davis, director/marketing technology, Pabst Brewing Co.

For some marketers, however, the outcome of this marketing initiative may have resembled a nightmare. “I’m not going to lie: We've definitely lost some of our existing consumers,” Jillian Davis, director/marketing technology at Pabst Brewing Co., explained at MediaPost’s 2018 Data & Programmatic Insiders Summit.

The negative reaction from a segment of the beer brand’s audience came in response to two online documentaries that underpinned its “America Dreaming” campaign. Created with media company Vice – and unveiled to coincide with Memorial Day and Independence Day – the videos featured a selection of real people who can demonstrate the “harmony of non-conformity”.