Bud Light to Focus on ‘Smooth, Fresh, Real Beer Taste’

CHICAGO Anheuser-Bush will replace the long-running line for Bud Light, “For the great taste of a light beer that won’t fill you up and never lets you down, make it a Bud Light,” with a more succinct quality message in a spot slated for the Super Bowl, a top brewery executive said.

The St. Louis brewery and Omnicom Group’s DDB in Chicago are putting the finishing touches on a line that will incorporate a message of “smooth, fresh, real beer taste” for the brand, said A-B vice president of brand management Bob Lachky.

A Bud light spot from DDB set to run in the fourth quarter of the Feb. 1 Super Bowl will focus on quality as the brewery makes an effort to shore up a point of difference for the brand, Lachky said.

Bud Light, the nation’s top-selling beer and long the growth engine in the A-B portfolio, was up only about 3 percent last year, Lachky said. While still outpacing most rivals, that is less of an increase than in past years.

Competing brands including Coors Light and Miller Lite have both incorporated low-carbohydrate messages into some of their advertising. A-B started the low-carb trend with Michelob Ultra, which enjoyed double-digit sales growth last year and has stolen some sales from Bud Light, Lachky acknowledged.

The “smooth, fresh, real beer taste” message will be woven into some Bud Light spots including those that continue the long-running theme of people going to great lengths to get one of the beers, he said

Separately, Lachky said A-B will spend significantly more in 2004 against Michelob Ultra, which is also handled by DDB Chicago. Last year, the brewery spent $40 milion on the brand through November, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.