About 15 months ago, Anheuser-Busch‘s VP, brand management Keith Levy proclaimed to Adweek that the brand’s new $50 million “Drinkability” campaign heralded an “evolution” of its concept for Bud Light. He said, “We’ve been on this for quite a while now. It was a bit of an aha! [moment] for us as we looked at research. We have this unique superiority claim that other light beer brands don’t enjoy…This latest round is probably the most successful attempt at that so far.”
But as of last summer, Levy was probably slowly eating his words as the “Drinkability” work (created by Euro RSCG and DDB) didn’t translate into dollars and A-B saw a 1.7% dip in Bud Light sales by June. Commenters on St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s site said things like, “The ‘drinkability’ campaign sucks, IMO. They don’t need to tell people that other ‘heavy’ beers go down bad to sell their fizzy yellow water beer.”
Perhaps reacting to the glowing feedback, A-B let humor/slapstick creep back into the idea pool (here and most recently here) and by Super Bowl time this year, the Wall Street Journal now reports that “Drinkability” will have bitten the dust. Instead of said campaign, which Levy says was “successful,” we’ll be reintroduced to a “funnier” Bud Light with spots featuring a man who has built his entire house out of the light beer’s cans and even a spoof on Lost. As a true sign that times are changing, A-B, despite purchasing five minutes of Super Bowl ad time, will forgo a new spot featuring its beloved Clydesdale. For shame.