After a 30-year hiatus, Billy Dee Williams and Colt 45 are teaming up again in an effort to get more folks to guzzle down Malt Liquor.
Williams and Colt 45 first teamed up in 1985 for a long-running ad “marriage” aimed at selling more Malt Liquor to African Americans. One of William’s most successful lines, “The Power of Colt 45, it works every time,” put Malt Liquor and Colt 45 on map in a huge way.
Billy Dee was black and he was sexy. And with the product promise: that Colt 45 would enhance one’s smoothness, and have the ladies come a running as they were for Williams, male African American beer drinkers went after Colt 45 like it was gold.
Colt 45 became one the larger malt liquor brands sold in the U.S.Then health and civil rights activists called out the ills cheap high alcohol content brews were having on the mental, social, and health fabrics of the demographic (Blacks) Malt Liquor was marketed to. Concerns about those ills and the emergence of craft beers, bourbons, and other U.S.-made whiskeys and wines pushed Malt Liquors to the side.
Malt liquors, which contain higher alcohol levels than light lagers and few flavorful hops, have also faced criticism for packing too much of a punch. The beverage’s size, often sold in 40-ounce bottles, is also problematic when considering the high alcohol content and low price making it easily accessible to teens and low-income people.
This time around Colt 45 and Williams appear to be promoting the message “Colt 45 will still deliver the magic” by sticking with the tag line from 30 years ago – “It Works Every time”.
Does Williams still have the magic to move an old school somewhat socially unpopular product in a sea of vicious competitors that have staked out their territory in the drinking market?
That depends upon the age demographic Colt 45 is targeting. If they’re aiming for baby boomers and older drinkers they may be able to gain a some percentage of the beer market landscape. If they’re attempting to snare younger drinkers I don’t think they’ll have much success with that UNLESS they get lucky enough to get one of these rappers to drink Colt in a video. If that happens Colt45 comes back with a bang.