New Ads – Budweiser Attempts to Reclaim the ‘Cool’ Mantle
The Problem: Budweiser’s sales were down 9% last year and are down another 9% this year. The brand’s been losing customer loyalty consistently over the past 5-10 years, as can be seen in their ranking among national product brands – which slipped from 16th in 2003 to 220th in 2010.
The Reason: The major beer drinking age demographic, 21-34 year olds, consists of ironic hipsters and testosterone-challenged “progressives” who are switching to microbrews, wine, and abominations like Smirnoff Ice in droves. In fact, microbreweries specifically have more than doubled their production since 2004.
What Budweiser is doing about it: Good advertising…
The beauty of this ad is in it’s simplicity, and in the fact that it embraces a sense of masculinity that has been absent in most advertising, and is definitely absent in the apparent tastes of most 21-34 year olds. Plus, aesthetically, it’s just a good commercial. It gets me excited about the weekend, makes me want to go get a six pack of Bud.
There are no gimmicks or forced humor, in fact there’s no talking at all, just rousing music and rapid fire shots of baseball, concerts, girlflesh, grilled meat, and swimming pools; and Budweiser between each shot. Plus there is a tiny touch of patriotism there at the end, which is another possible faux pas when you’re trying to appeal to the 21-34 year old self-hating American progressive.
Bud is semi-unfashionable, just like being pro-America is semi-unfashionable. But Budweiser embraces it, because America is cool, concerts are cool, and baseball games are cool – especially when badass fighter jets fly over the stadium while you’re drinking beer.
A few years ago, president of Anheuser-Busch, August Busch IV, said:
First, while beer is America’s favorite beverage with 58 percent of overall alcohol servings, we must continue to improve the image and desirability of beer. Second, we must keep beer fun and social. Third, we must grow beer occasions. And fourth, we must continue to improve our retail execution.”.