Bud Light Serves Cease & Desist Letter, Medieval-Style

When it comes to intellectual property, you can’t be willy-nilly with the ‘Dilly, Dilly.’

By Ethan L. Johns
December 06, 2017

Image: Modist Brewing Company/Facebook

AB InBev might have the financial might (it’s worth nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars) to bankrupt any small brewer that attempts to take it on, but hey, at least its legal department has a sense of humor about it.

Bud Light’s latest ad campaign has swept the nation, and has left a whole lot of folks yelling “Dilly, Dilly,” in its wake. But when a Minneapolis brewery named a beer after the catchphrase, the light beer behemoth sent a town crier, in full costume, through their front door to read (very loudly) a cease and desist letter off of a giant scroll. Naturally, the whole thing was caught on camera.

The note started by congratulating Modist Brewing Company on their new beer, the Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA. The crier then got to the intimidating stuff:

“However, ‘Dilly Dilly’ is the motto of our realm, so we humbly ask that you keep this to a limited-edition, one-time-only run. This is by order of the king. Disobedience shall be met with additional scrolls, then a formal warning, and finally, a private tour of the Pit of Misery. Please send a raven, letter, or electronic mail to let us know that you agree to this request.”

According to the brewery’s co-founder and manager, the beer’s name was an intentional dig at Big Beer, since the double IPA is heavy, hazy, and high-alcohol (8.0 percent ABV). Nevertheless, they yielded, and will rename the beer “Coat Tails,” no doubt for their unexpected visitor’s costume.

The crier’s note was not all dungeons and lawsuits, however. Bud Light sweetened their request by offering two tickets to the Super Bowl.

So what the hell does “Dilly, Dilly” even mean? Literally nothing, according to AB InBev’s Chief Marketing Officer Miguel Patricio—the guy responsible for the marketing campaign. Originally released to coincide with the finale of Game of Thrones, the ad’s catchphrase ended up taking on a life of its own as light beer drinkers across the country adopted it.

Well, what else are the people supposed to say when prost is for October, when cheers is oh-so-passé and when santé is, well, French? Guess it had to be “Dilly, Dilly.”

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About Ethan L. Johns

Ethan is the Food News Writer at Genius Kitchen. An expert on the Parisian bistrot, he likes bitters and salted butters, and is no fan of dessert unless it's made with fruit. His hobbies include reading up on the history of borscht and attempting to roll perfect couscous by hand. Twits & Instagram @EthanLJohns