The Bud Light “Dilly Dilly” catchphrase has spread quite a bit, from the initial medieval banquet commercial to a shorter version emphasizing just the catchphrase, to Pittsburgh Steelers’ quarterback Ben Roethlisberger using it as an audible, to the brand coming out with another commercial set in the previously-mentioned Pit of Misery. With all this cultural conversation about the phrase, it’s probably not surprising that another brewery tried to get in on the act, and that Bud Light sent them a cease-and-desist. But they found a pretty creative and fun way to do it, sending a town crier to read a medieval-style proclamation to Minneapolis’ Modist Brewing about their “Dilly Dilly Double IPA,” and having him also present the brewers with tickets to Super Bowl LII in Minneapolis in February.
Here’s video via Modist’s Facebook page:
“Hear ye, hear ye. Dear friend of the Crown, Modist Brewing Company. Congratulations on the launch of your new beer, Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA! Let it be known that we believe any beer shared between friends is a fine beer indeed. And, we are duly flattered by your loyal tribute. 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. Also, we will be in your fair citadel of Minneapolis for the Super Bowl, and would love to offer two thrones to said game for two of your finest employees to watch the festivities and enjoy a few Bud Lights. On us. Yours truthfully, Bud Light.”
This seems like a pretty clever move on Bud Light’s part. A standard legal battle over the Dilly Dilly Double IPA could have worked out in their favor in the end, especially considering the logo similarities:
But a traditional legal fight would definitely have engendered some public sympathy for the small brewer and some bad PR for Bud Light. Instead, the big brand likely accomplished what they wanted anyway, did so in a funny and entertaining style that kept the medieval Dilly Dilly theme going, and got some positive attention in the process. And it presumably works okay for Modist, too, as they get a whole lot of attention out of this, to say nothing of the Super Bowl tickets. Modist lawyer Jeff O’Brien told The Minneapolis Star-Tribune he thought Bud Light’s approach was a reasonable way to handle it:
O’Brien told the Star Tribune Friday evening that he has seen plenty of cease-and-desist letters, but nothing like this.
“There’s so many brewery names and beer names out there, and we try to resolve it short of suing each other,” O’Brien said. “They did it in a funny way and protected their mark. I thought it was a really cool way of handling it.”
O’Brien said Modist can sell the rest of the Dilly Dilly at the taproom, but won’t be able to brew it again under that name.
The scroll was hung under the “Dilly Dilly” sign at the brewery and may be framed, he added.
Here’s a closer look at that scroll hanging under the sign:
This seems to have worked out okay for both sides. At the very least, it seems like a better outcome than a private tour of the Pit of Misery. Dilly dilly to that.
[Modist Brewing on Facebook]