Anheuser-Busch InBev has been quietly brewing its own U.S. in-house agency for the past year. On Friday, the marketer is set to officially announce its launch.
Dubbed Draftline, the agency has grown since May 2018 from a digital and social agency working only on Michelob Ultra, to working across all 42 U.S. AB InBev brands, offering a range of services including TV production, packaging, out-of-home, radio, email marketing and data collection and fulfilling all programmatic media buying (which accounts for 10 percent of AB InBev’s media spend).
Along with working alongside external agencies for large brands like Bud Light, Budweiser and Michelob Ultra, it also handles the entire creative and media needs of new brands like Patagonia.
In-house shops in recent years have become a rising threat to external agencies as more marketers give them a try. AB InBev U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Marcel Marcondes said by moving more creative and programmatic buying in house in the U.S., the brewer can free up time and focus for the agencies brands continue to work with. “We’re not doing this to create competition, it’s to do more,” he said.