At the just-concluded Anheuser-Busch distributor convention, their new top marketing guy joined the CEO in bragging about the online views Budweiser's puppy and Bud Light's "up for whatever" SuperBowl commercials generated. Over 60 million in all. And then, given the brewer's continuing largely lackluster brand trends, he pleaded for patience from the audience.
So, how long will it take before Budweiser's social-media clicking turns into bar-call making?
Based on the evidence, probably never.
Not long after the SuperBowl, the monitoring service, BrandIndex, documented precisely what the Budweiser puppy ad achieved. And more important, what it failed to achieve. We printed their data then, and we re-print it here. (Perhaps the Bud guys missed it.)
To be sure, the level of "buzz" was historic.
How craft beers convert buzz into biz.
The primary communications medium behind the remarkable growth of the vast majority of craft beers is social-- online and mobile. The emerging craft brewers couldn't afford to spend a cent on the expensive media Big Beer dominates. So, they developed their own powerful, and far cheaper, social-media expertise. How? They discovered and exploited the distinction between the social medium, and the social message.
It's simple, but profound: The beer comes first in nearly all the craft-beer buzz. Unlike Budweiser, there are no puppies, no Arnold Schwarzenegger ping-pong. Virtually all craft-beer social marketing centers on facts about the beer: how it's made, where it's available and featured, how it tastes. The beer is the entertainment.
Without a change in Big Beer's message, patience is no virtue.