Bud Light Is Ensuring Fans They Can Still #BooTheCommish, Even From Afar

The Anheuser-Busch brand wants to keep the tradition alive under quarantine

Blue background with the Bud Light Seltzer logo with a place to 'Click to Boo'
For every video of a fan booing, Bud Light will donate $1 to the NFL Draft-A-Thon. Bud Light

Key insight:

In the time-honored tradition of sports enthusiasts and the league commissioners who they love to hate, Bud Light is making sure that a virtual event won’t keep dedicated fans from one of the most important parts of every NFL draft: booing the commissioner.

The beer brand is asking fans to record their boos and tag Bud Light on social media to make sure that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell receives them. For each boo submitted by the end of the draft on Saturday, Bud Light’s donating $1 (up to $500,000) to the NFL’s “Draft-A-Thon,” a fundraising effort by the NFL to benefit organizations on the front-lines of the fight against the coronavirus.

Today, the brand released a 30-second spot featuring Goodell himself at home with his dog, encouraging fans to hurl negativity in his direction for charity.

Bud Light

The stunt falls squarely into the marketing strategy of Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. CMO Marcel Marcondes, who describes the “winning formula” as a combination of serving relevance to consumers by allowing them to do something they already want to do, while staying true to the brand and supporting the industry or community in some way. It also helps that they can have some fun with it.

“We’re finding light-hearted things like in times like this,” said Marcondes.

After coming up with the idea for a campaign centered on booing—Marcondes called it something “we had to do”—Bud Light approached the NFL. Maybe a bit surprisingly, “they fully embrace it,” he said.

It’s also indicative of how the brand has changed the way it works with partners and approaches consumers as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Everything requires more agility, while at the same time ensuring careful consideration, Marcondes said.

“We’re changing the way we deal with our partners with the leagues, and even with consumers, so that everything becomes more spontaneous,” he said. But in keeping with the spirit of Bud Light, they’re finding ways to be positive and give consumers ways to have a good time.

“We leverage the opportunities we have to have fun,” said Marcondes.

@klundster kathryn.lundstrom@adweek.com Kathryn Lundstrom is Adweek's breaking news reporter based in Austin.