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Posts Tagged ‘Anheuser-Busch’

Jury Rules Against Former Anheuser-Busch Comms Veep in Equal Pay Case

BEER BEER BEER

Surprise, surprise: Jill Abramson isn’t the only woman in a prominent executive position who *allegedly* received less money than her male predecessors.

In a case that should draw the attention of all who work in corporate communications, a jury ruled that Francine Katz, who was promoted to VP of comms and public affairs at Anheuser-Busch back in 2002, did not receive unfair wages due to the fact that she happens to be a woman.

For the record, Katz strongly disagrees.

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In Which We Sample Budweiser’s New ‘Craft’ Beer Offerings

Screen Shot 2013-11-12 at 2.31.01 PMShocking Confession: We like beer. A lot.

Now that we got that out of the way, let’s review some other facts: Bud Light is the best-selling beer in the world by a fairly wide margin, and when you ask someone to name the prototypical American brew they will, more often than not, say Budweiser.

At the same time, lots of small-label “craft” beers have begun earning greater market share in recent years, so Anheuser-Busch InBev decided to offer customers a little variety with a “brewmaster innovation platform” called Project 12 whose biggest product so far has been Budweiser Black Crown.

Bud’s latest step in the Project 12 campaign is a little different: it’s an experiment designed to “[expand] the brand’s offerings” by dipping a toe in that craft barrel while armed with descendants of the original Bud yeast cultures.

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We had a chance to both sample the beers and speak to Budweiser VP Brian Perkins about the campaign. His comments and our completely objective critical review of the new suds after the jump:

FTC to Review Anheuser-Busch’s Claims that Coors Light Cans Have Been Overhyped

Ever feel like advertisers are just corporate versions of children who fight on the playground and then whine to the teacher about who broke the rules or who hit who first? Stories like this sometimes make us wonder if the FTC feels like it’s managing a classroom full of brawling kindergarteners.

MillerCoors has made some pretty lofty claims about its Coors Light can of late, calling it “the world’s most refreshing can,” promising a “smoother, more refreshing pour,” and even claiming that the can “could change everything … this technological masterpiece will revolutionize barbecues, beach parties and tailgates.”

But what does any of that actually mean? Is the can truly technologically superior to other beer cans? Does it really make beer taste better? That’s what competitor Anheuser-Busch would like to know, so it filed a complaint with The National Advertising Division of the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council, which investigates complaints to ensure advertisers don’t overstep federal regulations.

In hopes of settling the matter, the council attempted to engage MillerCoors in a review of its claims. Generally, it’s a good move for advertisers to play ball with the ASRC, as doing so can prevent government involvement. MillerCoors, however, refused to participate in the review, prompting the council to forward the case to the Federal Trade Commission. Read more

‘Budweiser’ Hopes to Attract Millennials With New Bow-Tie Can

As any current fan of Doctor Who will tell you, “Bow-ties are cool.”

Now, Budweiser hopes to cash in on said coolness with the release of its new bow-tie-shaped can this spring. The new design, which echos the familiar shape of the longtime Budweiser logo, took some major engineering to achieve (each can takes precisely sixteen steps to create).

Pat McGauley, vice president of innovation for Anheuser-Busch, said, “We explored various shapes that would be distinguishable in the marketplace, but also viable from an engineering standpoint…Aluminum can be stretched only about 10 percent without fracturing, which requires that the angles of the bow-tie be very precise.” It’s worth pointing out that this also means the cans use about twice the amount of aluminum of regular cans, and in a marketplace filled with “greener” packaging, it may be a step backward in that regard.

The company hopes the can born of this complex redesign will attract a new generation of trendsetting beer drinkers (i.e. millennials), and it will be marketed directly to them with a campaign that will include digital, print, and TV promotions. “This can is certainly a conversation starter: eye-catching, easy-to-grip, trendy and – according to our research – very appealing to young adults,” McGauley said. ”It’s a beer can like no other.”

In order to sip their beer out of a high-tech bow-tie shaped can of awesomeness though, drinkers will have to be willing to sacrifice .7 ounces of beer — each new can holds 11.3 ounces (as opposed to the normal 12 ounces), but because they will be sold in 8 packs, young party-goers may find this forgivable.

While traditional cans of Budweiser will still be available for boring old people, the new cans will be available in stores May 6th.

The ‘Craft’ Beer Movement Is Really a Marketing Win for Budweiser

We love any chance to opine on one of our favorite subjects: beer. When sudsy stories also involve branding strategies, we get a little excited.

That’s why we had to tell you about this AdWeek piece and its simple thesis: despite the very real popularity of premium “craft” beers created by independent breweries, most of the most popular off-brand beers on the market are, in fact, nothing more than the products of Big Beer companies’ successful attempts to co-opt the power of a story that was never theirs to tell in the first place.

See, most of the craft beer guys don’t have the resources to mount nationwide ad/promo campaigns. A large portion of their brands’ identities and business strategies lie in unique packaging (Flying Dog‘s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas-style artwork), product names (Stone‘s “Ruination Ale“) and ingredients/origin stories (Dogfish Head‘s “Midas Touch” includes golden grapes, thyme and saffron). It’s all about emphasizing the anti-establishment attitude that helps these small producers inspire brand loyalty among their fans — much of it powered by word of mouth. We call it DIY or grassroots PR.

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Budweiser Issues Sassy Social Response to ‘Watered Down’ Lawsuit

Anheuser-Busch, maker of such top-quality “beers” as Budweiser, Michelob and Stella Artois, isn’t playing nice in the face of a lawsuit filed by former employees who claim the brewery illegally waters down its products.

Yesterday the company took the opportunity to simultaneously mock its accusers and call attention to its CSR efforts by publishing a print version of this campaign spot in 10 major U.S. newspapers:

Not only did this ad give Bud a chance to brag about the purity of its products; it also reminded fans that the company donates millions of cans of drinking water (complete with the full Anheuser-Busch logo) to The American Red Cross and other disaster relief organizations.

Whoa there, guys. Didn’t your mom teach you that no one likes a braggart?

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You Don’t Say: Budweiser Sued for Watering Down Its Beers!

Today we were shocked to learn that some people think Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest “brewery”, makes products that closely resemble alcohol-flavored water! But that’s not all: According to three $5M lawsuits filed by customers in three different states, the company skirts the law by adding water to Budweiser, Michelob and other famously awful beers, then “overcharg[ing]” customers and “unjustly enrich[ing]” itself by printing inaccurate alcohol content percentages on its packaging.

Oh, and before you ask, frat boys: these allegations apply to Natty Ice as well.

Of course AB InBev reps deny it all with highfalutin language about adhering “to the highest standards in brewing our beers”. But the brand should get ready for a bruising: the info supposedly comes from former employees at its 13 American breweries. Attorney Josh Boxer says that “We believe this is a corporate policy that comes from AB InBev and trickles down.” Touche, sir!

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Budweiser Miffed Over Flight Product Placement

And now we bring you a very, very welcome respite from politics. Yes, it felt great to type that.

In the eyes of the average brand, product placement is a good thing–especially when the product in question plays a role in a hit feature film. But representatives for worldwide King of Suds Anheuser-Busch aren’t too happy with the fact that a bottle clearly bearing the Budweiser logo appears in the new Denzel Washington thriller Flight.

Why would any brand demand to have its logo removed from a critically acclaimed movie starring one of the industry’s biggest names? It’s fairly simple, really: his character has a drinking problem.

That’s right, Denzel stars as a commercial airline pilot who works an evening shift as a hopeless alcoholic–and that fact turns into a big problem after he survives a “horrific crash” for which we can only assume he bears responsibility (no spoilers please–we’re waiting for the DVD).

Turns out that DVD may well be missing a certain dark-brown bottle with an iconic red logo. This week, Anheuser-Busch asked Paramount and its parent company, Viacom, to remove all traces of the offending Bud from subsequent cuts of Flight. The company’s vice president issued a statement: “We would never condone the misuse of our products, and have a long history of promoting responsible drinking…It is disappointing that Image Movers, the production company, and Paramount chose to use one of our brands in this manner.”

Really?

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Social Responsibility in the Global Spotlight

Corporate social responsibility and marketing with a higher purpose were central themes at the Global Marketing conference on Wednesday in New York. The event, hosted by the Association of National Advertisers and World Federation of Advertisers, was held during Global Marketer Week. Senior marketing executives from around the world discussed how CSR applies to their brands.

“The fundamental shift to purposeful marketing from the 1970s mantra to deliver shareholder value is now underway,” according to Marc Mathieu, marketing SVP at Unilever. Jim Stengel, former global marketing officer at P&G, further noted the need for a new business model since “only nineteen percent of Americans have confidence in big business, according to a Gallup poll.”

More talk about why CSR is so important these days after the jump.

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Budweiser Not Responsible for ‘The Hangover’ in Part II

Product placement everywhere you turn. Except for that one scene in The Hangover Part II where Bradley Cooper said Budweiser but they didn’t actually flash the beer logo all over the screen. Missed opportunity?

Not if you ask Budweiser. Unlike other companies, they actually said no the movie because the scene wasn’t in line with their marketing.

“The brother-in-law in that scene was underage,” Anheuser-Busch’s director of marcomms Mike Bulthaus told the Vulture blog. “We invest a lot of money in our efforts to combat underage drinking. It’s an issue we take seriously.”

Well well. Companies that were featured include IHOP, which was in a scene where someone yells out the naughty C-word.

Product placement has gotten so ubiquitous Morgan Spurlock made a movie about it and the next James Bond movie has $45 million worth of it.

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