Budweiser Has an Iconic Connection to Music, and the Brand Wants You to Google It

Campaign tells consumers what to search for

Budweiser's 'Tagwords' campaign encourages consumers to search to find the beer brand in iconic moments in music history. Budweiser
Headshot of Diana Pearl

Budweiser has an indisputable place in music history—and the brand has the pictures to prove it.

In a new campaign currently running in Brazil, Budweiser is capitalizing on its place in many music-related moments over the past several decades by encouraging consumers to search for images of these iconic moments on Google. And rather than using QR codes or other technology, the beer brand is hoping a simple call to action will drive consumers to seek out these images.

The campaign is called “Tagwords,” and it’s all about propelling people to search for the images in which Budweiser appears alongside some of music’s biggest names. The agency Africa is behind the cross-media campaign, which will include outdoor and print advertisements, as well as a video spot.

“We can’t show you the proofs,” the video reads. “But we can tell you where to find them.”

And that it does: The video reveals a number of phrases, compete with a year, and instructs viewers to search for them on Google. Follow their instructions, and you’ll see a number of iconic musicians—and a nod to Budweiser. A search for “1974 ballroom holding Budweiser” will show you Sex Pistols frontman John Lydon and the band’s manager Malcolm McLaren, each holding a can of Budweiser. Type in “1965 poolside Florida Budweiser” and you’ll see Mick Jagger sitting on a lounge chair, a Budweiser in hand.

Felipe Ribeiro, Creative Director for Africa, said that Budweiser’s unique history—and its presence throughout moments in music history—made this campaign a natural fit for the brand.

The cross-media campaign will also appear in bars and pubs in Brazil, including on coasters, as seen here

“We believe that especially in the beer market, we have something no other brand has,” he said. “It was clear to us to talk about history. No other brand has that. If you try to do this sort of searching with another brand, you don’t find the same results. It’s something that makes us so special.”

Prior to the campaign’s creation, Ribeiro’s team at Africa knew what images they wanted to include. Finding the corresponding words that would lead someone to them in a Google search, however, was trickier.

“The hardest part of the process was finding the right combination of words,” said Ribeiro. “The pictures are easy to find, that’s the simplicity of the campaign. But we had to do a little research on which exact words we could use to make it simple for everyone.”

Ribeiro said the team also didn’t want to force anything, and chose the images that were naturally popping up at the top of Google’s search pages.

“We were looking for the most relevant images, and the ones that Google showed us as the results, because it had to be organic,” he said. “We didn’t use any kind of search optimization to make it happen. We had many great moments, we just had to choose the best and most relevant ones on Google.”

"We found some amazing pictures moments with Budweiser in the hands of people in music history," said Ribeiro.

Music, of course, is just one of several industries that Budweiser is tied closely to. Will the company put forward another “Tagwords” campaign, connected to Hollywood or sports?  Ribeiro said that music may only be the beginning.

“We see music as a starting point,” said Ribeiro. “We don’t know if it’s going to go ahead, but we see it in lots of other platforms. We have big plans for this concept and this tagline.”

Along with “Tagwords,” some of Budweiser’s latest campaigns include a drone-starring World Cup spot, as well as a Memorial Day-themed ad honoring military service members and veterans.

@dianapearl_ diana.pearl@adweek.com Diana is the deputy brands editor at Adweek and managing editor of Brandweek.