After taking over a Norwegian Cruise Ship in New York's Hudson River last year, Anheuser-Busch has another elaborate setup planned for this year's Super Bowl—including four social media command centers stationed around the country.
During the upcoming Super Bowl XLIX weekend in Glendale, Ariz., Bud Light will build an on-site activation dubbed "House of Whatever" to facilitate parties, concerts and activities. Within the experiential setup will be a social media command center, where reps from Bud Light, its creative agencies, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and its preferred marketing developers will huddle to create millennial-geared social content.
Anheuser-Busch hopes to recreate last year's social triumph when Budweiser won USA Today's 2014 Ad Meter. While a lot of that success came from pre-planned posts, Lucas Herscovici, vp of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, explained that it also included real-time content improvised during the game.
"We have a very strong relationship with YouTube, Facebook and Twitter," he said. "They work hand-in-hand with us to plan these campaigns to excel before, during and after [the game] and we feel it's important to have them in the room."
The strategy centers on giving the beer brand a local presence during Super Bowl weekend. But to amplify that reach, Anheuser-Busch will also set up social media centers in St. Louis, New York and Palo Alto, Calif., during the game.
While Bud Light will zero in on the Phoenix area (Glendale is a suburb), reps from Budweiser and agency Anomaly will staff the New York setup. St. Louis claims the headquarters for both brands, and the command center in Palo Alto is part of the beer giant's innovation lab.
Herscovici declined to say which brands will run TV ads during the game, but said that the social media command centers are meant to fire up some friendly rivalry between its names. "We also like healthy competition so there are different brands that also compete against each other to be able to win the Super Bowl," he said.
This year's campaign builds on the "Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens" campaign that launched at last year's game. After the Super Bowl, Bud Light then took over the mountain town of Crested Butte, Colo., for a couple of days this summer with the social-heavy "Whatever USA" campaign.
"We know the importance of being real-time in today's world and today's events. We apply it in every single big event we have," Herscovici added.