One of my favorite campaigns that I have seen within this year is the Budweiser “Best Buds” series of commercials. These commercials have run on television, but were cleverly designed and promoted over social media. The campaign has been running for quite some time now, and ads have been shown on both the 2014 and 2015 Super Bowl. This campaign is not only a different taste of beer advertising but it taps into the emotion of a man and his best friend. The one below is one of my favorites from the series, since the message is clear and makes me tear up. Every. Single. Time.
If you go to the YouTube link, you find that it has been watched over 23 million times, and liked over 60 thousand times. If that isn’t social engagement, I don’t really know what is.
In this particular advertisement, it evokes an emotion that is hard to come by in today’s era. If an ad makes me tear up, I always consider it a good one – because I hardly tear up for anything. The thought of a loved one dying is one thing that is hard to evoke, but instead of making it about humans, Budweiser decided to make it about the dog. Not only is it a perfect twist, but it makes viewers realize what effect it has on our favorite four legged friends. I think this advertisement really resonates with a lot of people – and that’s why this campaign did so well.
One of my favorite parts of this commercial and campaign is that it promotes safe drinking and driving. I think everyone this day in age has known someone who has been in a car accident, and furthermore, I’m sure many of those people know someone who has gotten into a drunk driving accident. With the upcoming generation of millennials entering the legal drinking age, we have been taught that drinking and driving is something you should never do. It’s very encouraging to see a beer company promoting the same thing in a way that reminds you in a lesson that isn’t a high school teacher telling you what not to do.
This Anheuser-Busch campaign, is targeted towards people of the legal drinking age. However, it is more specifically targeted towards drinkers between the ages of 21-27. Anheuser-Busch wanted to specifically capture the 21-27 target because this demographic consumes and shares content via the internet; mainly though social sites and news sources. According to the Anheuser-Busch article, the main purpose of the campaign was to promote responsible drinking and driving. The campaign voices that it is super important not to drink and drive, but is even more important to have a safe place to stay. From the YouTube video that was shown, it is clear that that message has been obtained. From other commercials, like the one below, it is a little harder to tell – but none the less, the campaign is still a strong one.
This YouTube advertisement above generated close to 59 million views and has over 246 thousand likes. This “Puppy Love” commercial was aired during the Super Bowl XLVIII, which is why it has more views than the other ads. This last advertisement I will show below, was aired during the Super Bowl XLIX.
“Lost Dog” commercial generated 29 million views with 120 thousand likes. This ad was as a result of the campaign’s success from the prior year.
As seen by the ads that I have posted in this article, the strategy of this campaign was to promote safe driving to all alcohol consumers. The importance of safe drinking is one that has always been promoted by the alcohol industry, but Budweiser took it to a whole new level. Alcohol advertising is actually self-regulated, and no advertising focuses on partying or getting drunk. Rather, alcohol advertisements focus on the taste and or social aspects of enjoying a beer with friends.
The strategy of this campaign was very smart and well thought out. As noted before, Anheuser-Busch wanted to advertise to all alcohol consumers, and advertising online was a great way to do so because viewers would tend to see the post during the day and notice it was posted and shared by a friend. For a discussion that is centered on safe drinking and driving, it is almost better to have a friend share the information, since its saying to a friend “hey, don’t let this happen to you, because if it does, I will be crushed.” Budweiser, in my eyes, did everything right, they had a goal, they achieved it, and they gained a lot of earned media. News sources listed Budweiser as having one of the best commercials on the Super Bowl – always something people talk about after the football game. Huffington Post, WGNTV, and AdWeek all promoted Budweiser through earned media. The advertisement that ran during Super Bowl XLIX had the highest ranking by increase in positive comments according to Venture Beat.
Besides the sharing of the YouTube videos via social media, Budweiser also promoted their brand through other vehicles. In this tweet below, you can see that Budweiser ran a sweepstakes.
— Budweiser (@Budweiser) January 23, 2015
This Tweet alone, which was sent on the 23rd of January 2015, generated 4,373 retweets and 2,950 favorites.
Twitter was not the source Budweiser used, they also got the Vine community involved by getting famous viner Vincent Marcus to create an ad.
Vincent Marcus made this content exclusively for Budweiser, and you know it’s an ad with “#BestBuds Budweiser #ad.”
The Budweiser brand went ahead to create content in a way that would engage users – which I think is one of the most important things to do in this time period. If a brand doesn’t create conversation, how do you really know if you are truly reaching consumers? Budweiser understood their target and they realized how important social media is for promoting their brand.
Budweiser, I think did a phenomenal job with the #BestBuds campaign and while I would love for Budweiser to do another commercial for the 2016 Super Bowl, I doubt it will happen, but hey, it was fun while it lasted.