Anheuser-Busch is getting set to make a major shift in the advertising for its flagship Budweiser brand, with a campaign and new tagline that harkens back to the days when the beer aimed to be the brand for the everyman. Sources close to the brewer say that the company will launch a new tagline for the brand this summer under ‘Proud to Be Your Bud,’ a play on the word Bud that will likely focus on relationships between friends. D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles/St. Louis handles.
Executives at the agency would not comment last week.
The campaign, which will be launched before the advent of the all-important summer beer selling season, will likely receive a healthy dose of support as the company tries to boost the brand’s sales.
Budweiser volume was down 3% last year, while its market share slipped for the second year in a row to 23.3%. The brand still outsells the No. 2 brand Miller Lite more than two to one. Budweiser shipped 45.8 million barrels last year, compared to 47.2 million in 1991, according to industry newsletter Beer Marketer’s Insights.
A-B will dump its three-year-old ‘Nothing Beats a Bud,’ that was developed after a Herculean effort from D’Arcy agency network. The new tagline is strictly out of the agency’s St. Louis office, which has been Budweiser’s principal agency for decades. The new work is the first major undertaking since Tom Sharbaugh was named vp/brand management and August Busch IV was named vp/Budweiser Brands in September.
In 1991, Busch IV, then Budweiser brand manager, switched gears in the advertising, dumping most of the ‘bimbo’ advertising that had been a staple of beer advertising for the past few years. He instead used a mix of offbeat and emotional advertising for 1992, while downplaying the ‘Nothing Beats a Bud’ tagline.
‘The new tagline certainly doesn’t want to be as edgy as some of the stuff they are running now,’ said one beer industry source. ‘It would seem to be a strong shift in strategy.’
The new tagline recalls the days when ‘This Bud’s For You,’ made its mark on the ad scene. The long-running tag was considered some of Budweiser’s strongest work.
Copyright Adweek L.P. (1993)