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Posts Tagged ‘Budweiser’

2014′s 10 Least Engaging Brands


Who’s having a great 2014 so far? Airbnb, Snapchat and even—dare we say it—Facebook are doing pretty well. But what about the other side of the brand equation?

Customer loyalty consultancy Brand Keys and reporter Truman Lewis of Consumer Affairs recently published a list of 2014′s least engaging brands, which we reviewed to try and figure out why these companies are having a bad year.

Brand Keys president Robert Passikoff says the market itself often provides the best evidence of consumers’ brand assessments, and these brands’ recent performances just don’t measure up.

The bottom ten, from worst to least bad, after the jump.

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Tweet-Powered Budweiser Robot Knits Sweaters for Designated Drivers

Not sure how to thank the friend willing to drive your sloshed self home from the company Christmas party? (And let’s face it, they totally deserve a token of gratitude after spending the entirety of the trip dealing with your increasingly panicked attempts to blot a beer stain out of your cocktail dress while complaining about the passive-aggressive coworker who totally splashed you on purpose.) Forget gas money or a hand-written note of sincere apology; Budweiser has a better idea.

The brand has created a “Knitbot,” a tweet-powered knitting machine, to knit fabulously ugly holiday sweaters for designated drivers. Every tweet tagged with the hashtag #jumpers4des incites the machine to knit a little more. Oh, and if the hashtag confuses you, that’s because it’s in British English (a jumper is a sweater, and “des” is short for designated driver).

Sure, it’s not terribly brand-centric, as people need designated drivers after drinking a whole host of beverages other than Budweiser, but any booze brand knows that encouraging responsible drinking habits is always a good PR move, and this one is also creative, social media-centered, and takes advantage of the resurgence of the ugly sweater.

Plus, this particular shade of red does wonders for our complexion — we’d wear one!


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.


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:

Drake Is the Toronto Raptors’ New Brand Ambassador


Looks like Drizzy of “YOLO” had FOMO on repping brands’ mojo.

Today the Toronto Raptors announced that proud Canuck Drake, better known as “that kid in the wheelchair on Degrassi“, would be the team’s new “global ambassador” as part of a rebranding campaign after they finished last season at 14 games under .500.

This sort of stunt didn’t work so well for Alicia Keys at Blackberry or Justin Timberlake at Bud Light, but there’s no question that Beyoncé  and Jay-Z earned quite a few media mentions for Pepsi, Samsung and the Brooklyn Nets. Also: Drake is a reliable presence at games who’s been known to hang out with LeBron, so it’s a more natural fit than, say, Will.I.Am and Intel.

Now what will Drake do, exactly?

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Budweiser’s ‘Buddy Cup’ Wants to Be Your Facebook Friend

Finally, it’s here.

If you’ve ever been out drinking and met someone to think only moments later, “Errr, what was her name again?” your prayers have been answered. Budweiser has released its “Buddy Cup” which (as the video above explains) allows fellow imbibers to become Facebook friends just by scanning their smartphones and clinking their cups.

That’s right, as if your Facebook profile didn’t have enough friends who were strangers, now you can add fellow drinkers as you high five each other and discuss the demise flip-flops as a fashion statement. For Budweiser, this is a wise PR move because it focuses less on the product—which is experiencing some tough competition as consumers gravitate toward more local brands—and more on the social experience of drinking.

We’re just guessing that if you’re the most popular and beautiful person with a “Buddy Cup,” you can expect a long night of spilled beer. You may want to wear on old shirt or something.

‘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.

7 Tips for Building a Better Hashtag Strategy

Hashtags aren’t just for tweeters anymore. Now that Vine and Facebook have announced “trending hashtag” features, every social media promo campaign must have a well-chosen hashtag, and yesterday an amusing story reminded us how important the strategy behind these tags can be. Basically, some wise guy tweeted #nowthatcherisdead to announce the passing of former UK prime minister Margaret Thatcher and scared a bunch of Cher fans (calm down, everyone: she’ll be playing Vegas well into the 22nd century).

It all seems very simple, but the fact that Budweiser thought this billboard was OK only two months ago shows us that hashtagging is still a little too complicated for some:

Half of the ads that aired during the last Super Bowl had hashtags, but that number should have been 100% because the strategy is no less important today than it was a year ago. And now it’s time to make some helpful suggestions!

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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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