Anheuser-Busch InBev is reaching back nearly 100 years in hopes of giving its struggling Budweiser brand a boost. A limited-edition brew called 1933 Repeal Reserve Amber Lager hits shelves today, claiming inspiration from a recipe used before Prohibition began in 1920.

Pre-prohibition style beers have been on the scene for years, made mostly by craft brewers that have sought to recreate the formulas of the bygone era. Of course, the craft brewers of today were not around before Prohibition hit. But Anheuser-Busch, which was acquired by InBev in 2008, has been around since 1852, giving the brewer a link to recipes its founders once used. The new brew is based on an amber lager Adolphus Busch sold in the St. Louis area before Prohibition arrived in 1920, according to the brewer. It packs a bigger punch than regular Bud—6.1 percent alcohol-by-volume versus 5 percent—and is described as having a “light, hoppy aroma and a rich caramel-malt taste.”

The marketing and packaging includes plenty of nostalgic nods, including a shorter bottle known as a “stubby.” In partnership with Lyft, the brewer on Wednesday will offer New Yorkers rides in five Bud-branded cars in Manhattan meant to resemble 1930s-era vehicles. The special rides, available on a first-come-first-serve basis between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. for people who sign up at Lyft’s website, will include tours of landmarks and neighborhoods with links to Prohibition. A TV ad by VaynerMedia shows the brew being poured in a modern-day speakeasy.

These Bud-branded Lyft cars are coming to Manhattan on Wednesday.

Enter a captionThese Bud-branded Lyft cars are coming to Manhattan on Wednesday. Credit: Anheuser-Busch

The limited run is timed to with the holidays and the Dec. 5 anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, which came to an end on that date in 1933 when Utah became the 36th state to approve the 21st Amendment.

The campaign comes as Bud continues to struggle. Sales in the U.S. were down 6.6 percent in the nine months ending Sept. 30, according to Nielsen data cited by Beer Marketer’s Insights. All big brands are down, but Bud’s decline was worse than Bud Light (-5.7%), Coors Light (-3.4%), and Miller Lite (-1.6%). Bud is doing much better globally, including in China, where the brand is surging.

In the U.S., “I think they are just searching for answers,” says Beer Marketer’s publisher Benj Steinman, noting that Bud—once the largest brew in the U.S.—has been falling for some 30 years. He suggested the true aim of the limited-edition brew is to improve the image of the main Bud brand. “They are going for a halo effect and the fact that it is a legacy recipe ostensibly will lend it some authenticity or gravitas,” he says.

Indeed, Bud has plenty of historical levers to pull. Anheuser-Busch persevered during Prohibition by selling non-alcoholic products. Clydesdales, which remain a marketing symbol for the brewer today, first became associated with A-B after August Busch Jr. gave his dad some of the horses to celebrate the end of Prohibition, according to the brewer. Clydesdales were used in 1933 to deliver beer to the White House.

AB InBev is not the first big brewer to give Prohibition-themed marketing a try. MillerCoors in 2013 ran a Repeal Day campaign for its Batch 19 brand that was crafted from a pre-Prohibition recipe. But the brew was later discontinued. A MillerCoors spokeswoman said the brewer is “focusing on other priorities.”

from Ad Age: http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/budweiser-s-marketing-push-includes-a-pre-prohibition-brew/310981/


How Tecate played the ‘Trump card’ and built a wall to unify beer lovers

What should a brand do when a political candidate’s proposed policies threaten to undermine the values it has spent decades promoting? Is it even right to take a political stance in the first place?

These are the questions Mexican beer brand Tecate faced last fall, as then presidential candidate Donald Trump promised to construct a wall between Mexico and the United States if elected as part of a hardline stance on immigration. Tecate, which was acquired by Heineken in 2010 but still operates a brewery just 600 meters from California, has worked hard to develop a presence in the U.S. through humor, a focus on masculinity and attracting Mexican-Americans proud of their bicultural identity. But Trump’s platform threatened to dismantle the message of cross-cultural brotherhood that’s key to Tecate’s positioning.

The brand decided to tackle the issue head-on with a bold message in “The Wall,” a TV commercial developed with Saatchi & Saatchi NY that showed two groups of men sharing a six-pack over a short border wall and which premiered on Sept. 24, 2016.

“We are a brand that’s invested in both sides of the border, so we saw that we needed to do something about it — emotionally tear down that wall,” Esther Garcia, Tecate’s U.S. vice president, said during a session at Advertising Week last month about how marketers can take a political stance. “We could do it because of who we are: the most popular brand in Mexico. Who better to unify the two sides?”

The message seemed like a natural fit, so the brand thought undertaking the risky campaign was the right move.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about having a lighthearted point of view and the right to do it,” Garcia said.

Despite the fit, the 73-year-old brand knew it would need to tread carefully as it developed the strategy. The first step was to find a strategic opportunity to strike, as Tecate recognized that timing would be critical for the success or demise of the campaign.

Thoughtful and thrifty thinking

The effort got underway just a few months before the first presidential debate in September 2016, a public event that attracts millions of viewers, when most of the commercial slots were already booked. Besides the abbreviated development timeframe, Tecate had spent most of its advertising budget around a boxing match on Mexican Independence Day.

“We needed to be swift, thrifty and bold, and focus on media that would create noise,” Garcia said.

“It’s not about politics. It’s about having a lighthearted point of view and the right to do it.”

Esther Garcia, Tecate U.S. Vice President

The brand accomplished its goals by snagging a spot on Fox News, where it expected the campaign’s tongue-in-cheek message of “a wall that brings us together” would likely win attention. Tecate knew that poking fun at the Republican candidate on a conservative network like Fox could stir up a backlash, so it worked with a public relations team from the get-go to anticipate and respond to consumers’ reactions in real time. The team started a conversation on social media via the hashtag #TecateBeerWalltwo days before the ad aired to tease the campaign and build momentum.

from MarketingDive: http://www.marketingdive.com/news/how-tecate-played-the-trump-card-and-built-a-wall-to-unify-beer-lovers/506967/

Heineken® Unveils New Tribute To U.S. Soccer Fans And Their Love For The Game In New Digital Spot

In the spirit of togetherness and soccer’s rising popularity in America, Heineken® today is unveiling a new digital spot that pays tribute to fans and supporters. The beautiful game has the ability to bring people together, and this video is dedicated to soccer fans and their commitment to the sport, no matter who you are or what team you follow.

An extension of 2016’s “Soccer Is Here” campaign, the video, developed by Publicis New York, features International Spanish star and New York City Football Club (NYC FC) captain, David Villa, sporting a green shirt with the word “champion” emblazoned across the front. Elsewhere this season, fans of all levels at Major League Soccer games wore shirts with similar words written on them, which could be seen at various league matches and on live television. For the first time, soccer fans can now view the full message in a video, which states, “There is an invisible thread that links us all. No matter if you are red or blue, American or Americano, champion or fan, young or..uhm.. experienced, our love for this game unites us. And together we chant as one: Soccer is here.”

Read more at PR News Wire: http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/heineken-unveils-new-tribute-to-us-soccer-fans-and-their-love-for-the-game-in-new-digital-spot-300533749.html

Ad of the Day: Guinness visits the Compton Cowboys, horse riders who said neigh to gang culture

Diageo’s Guinness continues to cause waves with its Made of More campaign, now telling the story of an eccentric group of men who raise and ride horses in Compton, LA.

The 90 second ad debuted on UK TV Monday 18 September and told the tale of a group of men who turned their back on the area’s much publicised gang violence to raise horses.

from TheDrum.com 


Ronaldinho Stars in This ‘Blade Runner’-Inspired Ad for Heineken

We all know that Bud Light is the official beer of American football, but what about everyone else’s football (also know as soccer)—what’s the official beverage there? Dutch beer brand Heineken is stepping up to the plate (or maybe the goal line) in an attempt to snag that title. With its UEFA Champions League tournament sponsorship and a new, three-part advertising campaign, each headed up by a famous football star, the beer brand is strongly establishing the Heineken-soccer connection with a cinematic twist.

The advertisements each play like short films. The first is entitled “The Wall” and features a Blade Runner-style science fiction vibe. In it, Brazilian football player Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (also known to fans by the nicknames Ronaldinho or Ronaldinho Gaucho) takes on a team of opponents in a futuristic soccer-like game.


Set in the 18th century, “The Last Duel” puts former Polish goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek in a very muddy face-off outside of a chateau. Meanwhile, “The Chase” presents Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy in a Jason Bourne-like scenario. Van Nistelrooy flees a group of challengers through mobbed streets in the pouring rain, toppling racks of postcards along the way, of course.

In each installment, Heineken-holding spectators look on in silent awe. Naturally, each of the football stars invariably defeat their adversaries and fans celebrate with cheers and (of course) sips of Heineken. The ads end with the slogan “Sharing the Drama Since 2005.”

from Food & Wine: http://www.foodandwine.com/news/heineken-launches-sharing-drama-campaign