Busch: Bud Will Roll With Changes

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. That Budweiser is a 128-year-old brand and the best-selling beer in the world for 47 years “guarantees us nothing,” said August Busch IV, president of Anheuser-Busch, in his address to the American Association of Advertising Agencies Management Conference here.

The St. Louis, Mo., company, like any other, must adapt to the changing marketplace through innovation, fresh thinking and calculated risk in its creative, he said.

As such, Busch said the company will also be more cautious in its creative approach “so we’re in front of the mood of the country,” in light of the controversy that swirled around the Super Bowl in February.

Much of the talk following the game centered on the half time show and Janet Jackson’s exposed breast. As a result, Busch said, advertisers’ messages were overshadowed.

During his presentation, Busch showed commercials across Anheuser-Busch’s product portfolio and discussed the company’s advertising and marketing strategy for an array of brands as diverse as Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, Amber Bock and Bacardi Silver.

Where beer drinkers were once marketed to in messages that spoke to gender, ethnicity, income level and professional status, now they are looked at through the lens of lifestyle, attitude and usage, Busch said.

“Technology has created numerous consumer niches,” he said, and the company uses a mix of sports and music messages and events to convey its quality and freshness appeal.

Busch also attributed his company’s marketing success to “the great relationship and bond of trust we enjoy with our agency partners.”

Omnicom Group’s DDB Worldwide and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners are the lead ad agencies for Anheuser-Busch. Interpublic Group’s Momentum handles event marketing and sponsorships.