Colt 45 Malt Liquor has been a controversial brand for decades. In the 1970's and 1980's they were critisized for marketing a cheap, alcohol-heavy beer in a jumbo can to urban Black youth. Remember the Billy Dee Williams campaign?
Now, they're introducing a 12% ABV malt liquor that comes in a jumbo, alcohol-heavy can with fruity flavors like strawberry lemonade, blueberry pomegranate, raspberry watermelon, and grape.
Colt 45 Blast is aimed at a broader group of drinkers, including women, with what is essentially an alcoholic soda.
And, they're using a celebrity spokesman who is essentially the 21st Century version of the suave Billy Dee Williams.
Snoop Dogg has signed-on as the spokesman for Blast. Snoop will promote the brand during live music, television and other appearances, and on Twitter.
By launching Blast Colt 45 joins Four Loko (renamed Four), Joose, Mike's Hard Lemonade, and Anheiser-Busch's Tilt in a category already ripe with controversy. Critics claim the makers are encouraging heavy drinking. One can of Blast, for example, contains about the same as the amount of alcohol as four regular 12-ounce beers. And, industry watchdogs say the fruit flavorings and colorful packaging make the products attractive to underage drinkers.
The makers of Colt 45 Blast (who also own Pabst Blue Ribbon) say Blast isn't intended for underage drinkers and that point-of-sale marketing and other efforts will encourage drinkers to put Blast on ice and mix it with ginger ale, juices and other beverages, diluting it, rather than drink the whole can in one sitting.