Hey, everyone! Have you heard the news? FREE BEER! Yaaaaaaaaay!
That’s right! Anheuser-Busch-InBev is launching a new marketing campaign and it’s time to PAR-TAY! The new “Grab some Buds” campaign is targeted at the 21-30 demographic and culminates in a free national Budweiser Happy Hour on September 29th. [reference]
It warms the cockles of my jaded little heart.
This new campaign is targeted at the 21 – 30 demographic, which AB-InBev has determined is the primary reason that they’ve seen a 20% dip in unit sales for their flagship over the past 2 years. In order to invigorate the market and to bring people back into the fold of their bland overlords a new ad campaign and enormous marketing gimmick must be had because that’s what Budweiser does. They market things. They also, apparently, make beer.
Here’s the thing: I’m sure it will work.
For a day.
I ask you this: Who over the age of 21, among people who are likely to drink beer, hasn’t tried Budweiser? What are they really trying to achieve by doing this?
Let’s talk for a second about why Budweiser (the beer, not the company) is losing market share.
1) Many drinkers have discovered that they actually have taste buds and like things that taste good and have moved up to craft beer.
2) Many (other) drinkers have decided that Bud doesn’t really taste that different from Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite, Milwaukee’s Best Light Ice, PBR, Schaeffer’s, Stroh’s, Genny Light, or any one of hundreds of other sub-premium adjunct pilsners and have moved DOWN in price point to get the same crap taste for less money because, hey – have you noticed that the economy isn’t that great? Why pay more for what is essentially the same product? Or maybe they’re just hipsters.
This happy hour WILL work. People who are predisposed to drink Budweiser and who like getting trashed on a Wednesday night will show up for their free sample of Bud. They’ll stick around and have a few more – though I’d be curious to find out if they keep drinking Bud once it’s on their dime. Bars and restaurants will be pressured by Budweiser distributors to buy extra kegs to stock up for the obvious DELUGE of business that they’re sure to get on the 29th, but don’t worry, they’ll kick in an extra keg if you buy enough, or maybe snag you some tickets to the ballgame. You know, a little quid pro quo to get you through your day.
Sales will look up, investors and stock market lackeys will be mollified because 3rd quarter sales look like they might have some life, but in the end, will they really pick up a big slew of new Budweiser drinkers to revive and sustain their flagging brand?
I don’t see it happening.