Bud Light Is Partnering With Tinder to Populate the Town of Whatever, USA

Mobile app's first-ever native video

Bud Light is transforming another town into Whatever, USA, and this year, the beer giant is choosing the next set of random beer drinkers to inhabit its party town like many millennials choose their next date—on Tinder. 

Users of the dating app who are 21 and older can match with Bud Light for a chance to win a weekend trip to the next Whatever, USA.

"There's a lot of synergies between the Tinder audience and the audience we're looking for," said Hugh Cullman, director of marketing for Bud Light.

Last year, following the success of its Super Bowl XLIX spot, Bud Light created Whatever, USA in Crested Butte, Colo., where 1,000 of the brand's fans got to party with celebrities in the sleepy mountain town—much to the chagrin of the town's residents.

Bud Light will select about 1,000 beer drinkers—fans can enter the contest on Tinder, Twitter, Facebook or Instagram—to attend this year's celebration, which is slated for the last weekend of May. The exact location of Whatever, USA has not yet been determined, though Bud Light has whittled the possibilities down to five finalists. Celebrities will be in attendance again this year, but the brand declined to provide specific names. 

The partnership between Bud Light and Tinder marks the first time the dating app has used native video. The two brands worked together for six months to create spots designed specifically for Tinder's platform. Bud Light worked with two agencies, VaynerMedia and Contend, to create the ads. 

"We haven't taken our traditional TV commercials and just slapped them on Tinder," said Cullman. "We know that would be a poor experience. [We wanted to] talk to that audience in the way that they are talking to other people. TV [spots] work great for TV, but we knew they would not be a good experience for Tinder." 

Users can stop, rewind and replay the custom spots, and the length of the video may vary over the course of the campaign, according to Bud Light and Tinder. Those who match with Bud Light will be redirected to a co-branded Web page that explains how to enter the contest. 

Sean Rad, president and founder of Tinder, noted the app has a history of partnering with brands to "communicate cool offerings" to users. 

"We are serious as a company about finding a way for brands to communicate with our users in a very accretive way. We don't want to disrupt the users' experience, and we're committed to that," he said. "Depending on how this goes, users might see more of this, but it's going to be a long time until this is a consistent part of your experience." 

By using Tinder, which has 26 million matches a day worldwide, Bud Light can connect with millennials spontaneously, which embodies the spirit of Whatever, USA, according to the brand. 

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