For Buddies and You: Budweiser’s Marketing

7 mins read

What Mc Donald’s is to food is what Budweiser is to booze. Launched in 1876, and later acquired by Anheuser-Busch; Budweiser is a well-known beer amongst the common folk.

According to Brewers Association, Anheuser-Busch was one of the top brewing companies in 2020 when measured in sales. Anheuser-Busch has a dominant presence around the globe, and its network strains down to small pubs and bars across the world. They sell 100s of different liquors. Naturally, they have a higher market share and retail sales.

Budweiser, also as you’ll note further; importantly and regularly engages itself in highly dense events such as Super Bowl, NFL or even the Olympics. These are strong reasons for the brand’s popularity and success.

Super Bowl commercials

  • #StandByYou: Victims of natural disasters

In 2018, Budweiser released a heart-warming commercial that highlighted their support towards victims of natural disasters in different parts of the US.

#StandByYou features Kevin Fahrenkrog; the general manager at Anheuser-Busch who is awoken early in the morning for a presumed urgent request and promptly reaches the brewing factory in Cartersville. The announcer’s voice over the radio points out the consequences and development of the disaster that is taking place; to the viewer. It sets the frame for consideration and sensitivity. Since it is an advertisement with an empathetic tone; they use appropriate product placement. On command, the breweries are changed from brewing beers to filling up the cans with potable water. Back at home, his wife watches the relief items being unloaded for the victims of natural disasters.

Budweiser made an ad showcasing their real efforts to help victims of natural disasters.

  • Best Buds

A horse, a stableman and a puppy and are best friends. The stableman takes his buddies out every day for some fresh air. One morning, the puppy runs off and unknowingly get trapped in a different van. Assuming his puppy got lost, the man tries to find him. Parallelly in the period, the puppy finds his way out and runs back home. When he reaches close to his home, it is already night. He barks; trying to alert his friends but a wolf finds him instead. The horse and his friends in the stable rescue him and fetch him back home by daylight.

The marketing in this ad was quite subtle but direct with the signature Clydesdales and the hat that rested on the stableman’s head. Despite that, the “Lost Dog” ad found its way to the top of the Super Bowl Ad meter in 2015 possibly because of the cute puppy.

 

  • Dog- A man’s best friend

A man and his dog are best friends; they say. Budweiser seems to dig the idea of using “buds” in their advertising; hence they do so as often as they can. If possible, even discreetly.

This ad is another one of the classic uses of dogs and humans being best friends; despite not being a company that manufactures products for dogs. “No Drinking and Driving” is a public safety rule invented to prevented driving accidents. It is often neglected as it accounts for 1/3rd of traffic-related deaths in the records. Budweiser endorsed “No Drinking and Driving” in this commercial when they point out “For some, the waiting never ended” in this commercial. The man though does come back home to his furry friend and reveals that he stayed at his friend’s house. #FriendsAreWaiting and “Enjoy Responsibly,” says Budweiser at the end.

The Bud-E Fridge

Apart from the usual beers, Budweiser released a Bud-E refrigerator during the NFL season in 2015.

Capable of stocking a quantity of 78 beers at once, the Bud-E refrigerator was a smart refrigerator. The smart refrigerator could connect with a mobile app and send alerts to users when the beers were perfectly chilled or if they were getting robbed of one. Simultaneously, beers could be ordered at home and synced with the NFL teams.

Get Vaccinated

With the most recent event affecting the lives of everyone on this planet; the Covid-19 pandemic; Budweiser sought to remind everyone of the lives before this major event. The trip down the memory lane was through their ads; revoking the “Best Buds” ad where the horse saves the puppy.

Clydesdales and the puppy hear some physical changes in the environment and realise it is time to meet each other again. The symbolism is present and effective. Clydesdales representing Budweiser themselves and the puppy representing their consumer base. They race across different landscapes since they “Can’t Stop (me now)” to meet each other again.

Budweiser understands the enthusiasm of getting things back again in order but they want to do it safely. Thus, like every other brand that adopted the ‘get vaccinated and get the benefit’ strategy; Budweiser promises to offer their consumers the first round of beers free if they got vaccinated.

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