Broncos... Seahawks... Bud Light?
It is no exaggeration to say that fixing Bud Light's business trend is the most critical marketing task in the entire beer business, arguably in all of marketing these days. SuperBowl hyperbole aside, this is a truly historic moment for the country's largest beer brand.
Continuing an alarming trend, Bud Light's sales volume dropped 1.5 million barrels in 2013 alone. No other Big Beer brand suffered to that degree. For craft beer reference, that much volume exceeds the total size of Sierra Nevada, Lagunitas and Deschutes combined.
Spending in the vicinity of $100 million a year on advertising that has no positive effect on sales is neither smart nor sustainable. So, Bud Light's new ads--due to be unveiled on SuperBowl Sunday-- will replace the unremarkable (but prophetically titled) "It's only weird if it doesn't work" campaign. As we've opined here before, those ads failed at Job #1 for any ad, namely making the brand special and distinctive from its competition. Indeed, Bud Light has been a serial violator of our "Seven Deadly Sins."
On one hand, finding better ads than the "weird" campaign should be a low hurdle. But on the other, Bud Light's volume trend makes successful new advertising absolutely critical.
- (2) With all the celebrities shown in the teaser ads, are they only in the ads for entertainment, or do they support in some way a story making Bud Light seem special?
- (4) Do BudLight's new ads actually communicate something specific about the beer that is unique, or otherwise interesting?
- (5) If you replaced every Bud Light package shown in the ads with a Miller Lite package, would it make any difference? If the answer is "no difference," the ads may be selling beer in general, but not Bud Light.
Much has been made of the $8- million-a-minute cost of a SuperBowl ad. But if Bud Light's new ads make the grade, that'll be about the best investment around.
Count us among Bud Light's fans hoping for solid new ads on 2.2.14. Because a return to health for its largest brand will be an important win for Big Beer.