Anheuser-Busch Ices Miller With New Bud Draft Launch

A-B announced it is rolling out the ice brew in Western markets beginning Oct. 4 and nationally thereafter as production capacity allows. It's positioned to go head-to-head against Miller Genuine Draft, and it's trying to be aligned with the Budweiser name without too much cannibalization of its flagship Budweiser brand. As a result, the official name of the brew is Cold-Filtered Ice Draft from Budweiser.

As expected (ADWEEK, June 7) DDB Needham Chicago has the assignment, which could be worth close to $50 million when rolled out nationally.

'By naming the brand as we did, we believe we'll be maximizing the takeaway from our competition, while minimizing our own cannibalization,' Busch IV said last week. 'It's similar to the name 'Lite beer from Miller.' '

A-B hopes the brand will pump new life into the Budweiser name. Both Budweiser and Bud Dry have taken it on the chin in the past two years, and Anheuser-Busch officials have been looking for a way to drive more volume.

'Dry beer is problematic,' Busch said. 'It's such a hard benefit to produce. It taught me personally a lot. But dry beer is at about 2.2 million barrels for us. With the introduction of the painted bottles, the brand has stabilized. By no means do we plan on walking away from it.'

Teaser ads for A-B's ice brand will break late next month with the expected tagline, 'Taste the Future of Draft Beers.'

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