To Cease and Desist Letters—Dilly Dilly

Advertising Law

Taking a unique spin on a standard legal document, Bud Light recently sent a medieval town crier to deliver a cease and desist letter to Modist, a Minnesota brewery.

Earlier this year, Bud Light launched a series of ads attempting to leverage the popularity of Game of Thrones with commercials set in a similar medieval time period, complete with authentic costumes, lords and ladies—and the repeated use of the nonsensical phrase “Dilly Dilly.”

In “Banquet,” for example, various members of the court step forward to hand gifts to the royals before a banquet begins. After one man hands over a six-pack of Bud Light, the king says, “Sir Jeremy, you are a true friend of the crown. Dilly Dilly!” while all those assembled raise their own Bud Lights in response, calling, “Dilly Dilly!”

When one unfortunate soul proffers a spiced honey mead wine that he’s “really been into lately”—and not Bud Light—the king tosses him into the pit of misery.

Modist Brewery Co. had released a new drink dubbed the “Dilly Dilly Mosaic Double IPA.” Bud Light responded by sending the town crier in medieval garb to the company’s headquarters.

The decree from the crown—which the crier read from a parchment scroll before affixing it to the wall of Modist—stated: “Let it be known that we believe that any beer that is shared between friends is a fine beer indeed and we are truly 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 will result with additional scrolls,” the missive cautioned. “Then, a formal warning. And finally, a private tour of the pit of misery.”

Bud Light requested a response by “raven, letter or electronic mail” before making Modist an offer. “[W]e will be in your 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.”

To watch the Bud Light commercials, click here.

To view the town crier’s visit to Modist, click here.

Why it matters: The creative spin on a legal document was well received by Modist. “There’s so many brewery names and beer names out there, and we try to resolve it short of suing each other,” the company’s lawyer told the Chicago Tribune. “They did it in a funny way and protected their mark. I thought it was a really cool way of handling it.”