AB InBev is ending “The Bud Light Party” a few weeks early after a disappointing third quarter.
When Wieden + Kennedy’s first work for the brand debuted back in January, Bud positioned it as a political parody that would end with (one presumed) a big Election Day event. Given how ridiculous and depressing the last 16 months have been, it made a lot of sense. But Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen will no longer be hyping Bud.
Today, the brew’s parent company cut its overall revenue forecast due to “surging financing costs and slumping sales in Brazil and the U.S.,” including “a mid-single-digit volume decrease in Bud Light.”
In a statement, a company spokesperson framed the decision as one that didn’t differ too much from the plan.
“Turning around a brand the size of Bud Light, which alone accounts for almost one-fifth of the total category, takes time,” the spokesperson wrote. “Despite continued positive signs in brand health evolution, driven by millennials and Hispanics, 3Q was the softest performance of Bud Light for the year from a volume and share perspective.”
Regarding the W+K work itself, the spokesperson continued: “The Bud Light Party campaign helped us improve these brand attributes, but it did not translate to improved volume and share performance. While we are clearly not satisfied with Bud Light’s performance, we are already leveraging what we’ve learned to develop and execute new work.”
Some of the anonymous distributors who spoke to AdAge earlier today got a little more specific, with one stating that the campaign itself was “very disappointing.”
Bud Light seems to have determined that the effort was a wash and decided to move on to focus on its partnerships with Lady Gaga and the NFL.
“We recently wrapped the Bud Light Party campaign (which was always intended to end in the fall) to transition to Bud Light’s NFL programming, supported by strong creative execution and significantly increased coverage of our team cans (+185 volume) across the U.S.,” the spokesperson wrote. “We also kicked off our Dive Bar Tour with pop icon Lady Gaga, which is driving unheard of engagement levels for the brand. (The first edition of the dive bar tour was the 4th most viewed show in the U.S. that day, combining all media for that day using Facebook Live as the medium.)”
The Lady Gaga work debuted three weeks ago, and it has dominated Bud Light’s marketing efforts as Rogen and Schumer disappear from our screens.
The work involving NFL team logo cans will also continue. Here’s one related spot, which focuses on loyalty to the hometown squad.
The sales drop will apparently not affect Bud Light’s relationship with Wieden + Kennedy. The brand statement concluded: “For Q4 and 2017, we are working closely with our creative agency, Wieden + Kennedy, to prepare for the next phase of our campaign for the Super Bowl and beyond. We will also put more focus on sports, where we have had considerable success in the past.”