In an article this week on Adweek.com, the Bud Light brand announced a major packaging promotion designed as part of its new long term strategy to re-invent the beer brand to appeal to the next generation of beer drinkers.
While the use of HP Indigo digital-press technology to create 200,000 unique beer cans for the Mad Decent music concert series is really, really cool, it all feels a little desperate to us – because it is! Trendy craft, locally-created beers have eaten into Budweiser’s overall market share, halving it in just a decade, and everyone knows they have to do something.
The Bud Light brand VP says that “something” is unique and individualized brand experiences and he’s betting this promotion fits that bill. It’s cool, ambitious and part of a long term strategy to increase Bud Light’s appeal to Millennials.
A November 15th, 2014 article in The Wall Street Journal reported, “The company has decided that persuading 21- to 27-year-olds to grab a Bud is the best chance to stop the free-fall. [After] years of developing advertising and marketing that appeals to all ages, AB InBev plans to concentrate future Budweiser promotions exclusively on that age bracket…it means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash.”
These one-of-a-kind beer cans will create great social buzz, for sure, but will it induce a return to the brand? Millennials want authentic experiences most of all, and these will be more mega-orchestrated ones. Will they respond to the hype or rebuff it as an attempt to buy their craft beer soul with some packaging eye candy? It will be interesting to see what happens with this promotion and how Budweiser’s overall re-invention strategy plays out over the next few years.
What do you think of this latest Budweiser promotion and it’s potential impact?