Anheuser-Busch is most famous for Budweiser lager, the UK’s
best-selling premium packaged lager. Although Budweiser currently has a
33 per cent market share, Anheuser-Busch wanted to increase its
penetration of the market.
To promote Budweiser, through sponsorship, to style leaders and males
aged 18 to 24 to encourage them to reassess the brand. To create a sense
of excitement around the brand name.
Strategy and Plan
Taking into account Budweiser’s US history and the target UK audience,
GCI developed a central theme to the campaign: the ’cultural synergy’
that exists between the US and UK.
In celebrating this relationship, GCI aimed to promote Budweiser as a
contemporary, cutting-edge brand name.
GCI developed three aspects to the central theme: film, music and
Under the umbrella logo of B, each of these elements was developed into
individual events. Since sponsorship was to be the main vehicle for
achieving the aims, establishing these media partners was a key
strategy. This involved targeting the appropriate style leaders while
maintaining a high media profile.
The results were ’B Reel’ for film, produced in conjunction with the
BFI, ’B-Side’ for music, in partnership with music mag Sleaze Nation,
and ’Exhibit B’ for design, supported by i-D magazine.
The ’B Reel’ and ’B-Side’ promotions took place in several different
cities, bringing B closer to local audiences.
’B Reel,’ a film festival celebrating the best of American and British
crime films, took place in 7 cities, including Nottingham, Edinburgh,
Glasgow and Manchester. ’B-Side’ explored the relationship between US
and UK progressive dance music by holding live events in Glasgow,
Manchester and London.
The events were spaced out to increase the longevity of the
This method also served to refamiliarise the target audience with the
Budweiser brand name, while also proving its relevance.
Measurement and Evaluation
Attendance at both ’B Reel’ and ’B-Side’ (’Exhibit B’ is yet to run)
exceeded all expectations, as did the extent of the media coverage.
Both the Guardian and the Observer provided extensive coverage of ’B
Reel,’ ensuring widespread publicity of both Budweiser and the B
It was also covered by newspapers including the Glasgow Evening Times,
and the Scotsman.
The production of a special issue of Sleaze Nation, entitled SN
Transatlantic, also ensured B’s message was brought to the attention of
its target audience, as did regular pieces in i-D.
The Independent and the Observer are also expected to cover ’Exhibit B’,
which launches this month.
The events held so far have proved successful, providing an excellent
vehicle with which to promote B. The genres of film, music and design
were aptly chosen as a means of attracting the target audience. Media
response also exceeded expected levels. Anheuser-Busch will be
continuing with the programme in 2000.
PR Team: GCI
Timescale: April - Nov 1999
Budget: Part of pounds 30 million UK marketing spend for 1999