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01/18/2017

New Bud Light Campaign “Famous Among Friends”; “Why Not” Busch?; Less Total Super Bowl Time

New Bud Light campaign will debut with 60 second spot on Super Bowl.  Tagline “Famous Among Friends” is “true” to brand’s lineage, new mktg veep Marcel Marcondes told INSIGHTS, featuring “fun social moments with people you like,” adding “friendship stays forever.”  Bud Light ads should “not be something juvenile” but rather aim for “universal relevance.”   Marcel met with media in NYC yesterday (INSIGHTS couldn’t make it, but had separate brief conversation).

AB not yet finished with any of its Super Bowl ads, so it did not show any new work.  It will buy “at least” 3 minutes of ad time, showing ads in each qtr.  That’s 30 seconds less than last yr, at least 1/3 less than 4.5-5 minutes in days of yore.  Could be partly because ads are $5 mil for 30 seconds now, roughly double a decade ago.  Absent showing any new work, this meeting about which brands would be featured and strategies behind them.  AB pr said it will release several of new ads on digital platforms prior to the Big Game. But Marcel told meeting that AB is “considering releasing some elements” of Bud Light work prior to big game, “but has not made a final decision,” reported Ad Age.  New Bud Light campaign also comes from Wieden & Kennedy, which produced last yr’s unsuccessful Bud Light Party campaign.  Both the agency and AB probably feeling more than usual pressure to succeed with “Famous Among Friends.”  

If biggest stakes riding on Bud Light work, most interesting news for this yr’s Super Bowl is first ever Busch ad.  Marcel said folks sometimes ask why a Busch ad on the Super Bowl.  And his answer is “Why Not?”  Busch franchise “performing very well,” he said.  “Let’s see how far this can go.”  Overall, Busch Super Bowl ad is “not a big change” in Busch media budget, which “already included some media,” Marcel told INSIGHTS.  Is there a “social movement… back to traditional values,” Marcel asked.  While unwilling to answer definitively, Busch ad in Super Bowl in part is recognition that “something is going on,” whether that’s Busch brand or related to larger societal trends.   Busch family share flat in 2016; modest share gain in 2d half.

Meanwhile, Bud and Mich Ultra will also get Super Bowl ad slots.  Bud work “will draw inspiration from the story of its founder” Adolphus Busch, celebrating brand’s “ambition and hustle,” said AB.  Sounds like ad will be less “in your face” than “Brewed the Hard Way.”  Those ads drew attention, got praised, but Bud down 3.7% in IRI multi-outlet + convenience in 2016, 4.5% for last 12 weeks.  Meanwhile, Michelob Ultra ain’t broke and AB ain’t fixin’ it.  Ultra was industry’s hottest big brand in 2016, grew more cases than any other in IRI, up 23%, 10 mil cases for full yr.  “We don’t need to reinvent the wheel,” said Marcel. “It’s working really well.”

Publishing Info

  • Year: 2017
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue #: 12
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