Bud Light has rolled out new marketing to address the common misperception many have about its light beer—it is often viewed as the underdog in beer circles, despite the fact than 20,000 Bud Lights are sold every minute, each day in the U.S.
With these new spots, Bud Light is shifting its marketing strategy to educate consumers about the quality of its light lager.
Andy Goeler, VP marketing, Bud Light, talks about the shift to educational marketing and other ideas brewing in the marketing department.
CHIEF MARKETER: Educational marketing, or explainer videos, is a trend. Why did Bud Light decide to educate consumers on its beverage and have you done this in the past?
ANDY GOELER: Bud Light has always invested in the quality of our product, but as the beverage industry becomes more complex, we’ve found that consumers are looking for something more simplistic, and have become increasingly interested in what goes into their products. That’s why right now is a good time to tell that quality story for Bud Light. The program is launching with a focus on the beer and the reliable taste that consumers expect and depend on—bringing it back to what Bud Light is all about. Boiling everything down to just the beer.
CM: Does this mark a shift in how you will market Bud Light going forward? Or how does this particular ad campaign fit into the overall Bud Light marketing strategy?
AG: “Famous Among Friends” remains Bud Light’s core campaign. Our brand still stands for friendships and you will see that in some of our upcoming creative. We’re not shifting away from that, but we are focusing more on telling the ingredient story of our beer. To us, product quality and friendship go hand-in-hand. Your best friends are the people you can always count on. The same goes for Bud Light. It’s the beer you can always count on.
Everything we do ladders up to the same campaign. We’re still going to have fun. Be on the lookout for more creative work that highlights the connection between the dependability of Bud Light and our “Famous Among Friends” platform.
CM: How did you pitch the idea to the C-suite? Did you get quick buy-in for the concept?
AG: As a leader in the industry, it’s important to listen to consumers. Right now, they care about what’s in their beer, the styles of beer, the ingredients, the recipes, etc. Consumers are interested in styles of beers. They know IPAs, stouts, saisons and we want them to know that our beer is a style too—light lager. The light lager style is the hardest beer to brew on a consistent basis and we’re proud that we deliver a consistent crisp, clean, refreshing beer. Bud Light is not just a “light beer,” it’s a light lager.
Our team thought that right now is a good time to tell that story for Bud Light. It’s a simple story, but that’s what we have to say. There will always be a lighthearted element to the brand and we will continue to showcase this side of the brand with our friendship platform—it will just have a stronger connection to the beer.
CM: The brewing and quality control process is complex. How did you decide what was important to put in and what to leave out?
AG: This is just the first phase of quality work that we have in development. We have a simple, but strong, story to tell with the four essential ingredients we use and we wanted to start there.
CM: Who are you trying to reach with this campaign?
AG: We want to continue our appeal with light lager fans who have been friends of Bud Light for so long, but we’re are always looking to connect with new people. We’re hoping our ingredient story will do just that. Bud Light is one of the most difficult styles of beer to brew. We believe our quality story of four essential ingredients—barley, rice, water and hops—will appeal to both old and new fans of Bud Light.
CM: You are marketing in an extremely competitive category. What keeps you up at night?
AG: The beer category as a whole is seeing a bit of decline right now. We’re the leader in the industry, and unlike any other beers in the category, we have a responsibility to not only elevate the quality and character of Bud Light, but also the industry overall.