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This holiday weekend hosts so many heated match-ups: you vs. everyone in the airport, you vs. your button-fly, you vs. your weirdly competitive cousin during a “friendly” round of Pictionary. (WE’RE NOT EVEN KEEPING SCORE, BRIAN!)

And of course, there’s the Michigan–Ohio State game. Being the lone Wolverine in an office of Buckeyes is exhausting, but it’s allowed me to perfect the art of trash talk—a talent that helped me recount the best brand takedowns of 2019.

Bud Light

Once upon a time, all the watery beers coexisted in perfect harmony. Until that is, Bud Light accused Miller Lite of using corn syrup, and everything went to hell. At first, their exchanges were high-charged but cheeky. Then Miller Lite took legal action. You know what they say: it’s all fun and games until someone gets sued. But just by virtue of shooting first, Bud Light came out on top. Dilly dilly!  

Burger King

Meanwhile, Burger King didn’t merely troll their competitors—they incinerated them. Most notably, customers used an AR lens to burn ads for rival chains in exchange for a free Whopper. BK kind of won the year by pulling no punches (see also: their Big Mac menu and outdoor clap back). And, you know, by selling so many burgers.


After years of being the lame nerd to Justin Long’s normcore protagonist, Microsoft retaliated with “Meet Mackenzie (Mac) Book.” The spot culminates with an Aussie literally named Mac Book telling you to buy a Surface laptop. It’s the advertising equivalent of the “Why are you hitting yourself?” game, and it’s so exciting to see Bill Gates win for once.

So remember, friends: when cousin Brian gives you guff this Thanksgiving, make like your advertising idols and execute a billboard detailing his personal shortcomings. (I can help you with media placement.) Also: go Wolverines!

Have a hang-tough weekend, everybody!

—Your keeping-the-peace friends at Brokaw

Being the lone Wolverine in an office of Buckeyes is exhausting, but it’s allowed me to perfect the art of trash talk.

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