Budweiser Zero Wants to Protect You From Buyer’s Remorse This Holiday Season

The alcohol-free beer, co-created by Dwyane Wade, launches its first holiday ad

Budweiser Zero's holiday campaign serves as a warning against alcohol-fueled gift buying. Budweiser Zero

Many who read this will likely be doing so from a browser that includes at least a few holiday shopping tabs—Cyber Monday sales, as usual, largely extend throughout the entire week following Thanksgiving.

But Budweiser Zero, which was created in partnership with former NBA star Dwyane Wade and debuted in July, isn’t concerned about folks shopping during work hours. The 0% ABV beer brand is more worried about those regrettable alcohol-fueled purchases that many shoppers make late at night, only to feel comically shameful when those odd buys land on their doorstep a few days later.

The brand’s campaign includes examples of regrettable impulse buys.Budweiser Zero

Some gifts just sound a lot funnier after a few drinks than they do in the light of day.Budweiser Zero

To alleviate this problem, which accounts for $40 million in yearly purchases according to a survey from Finder.com, Budweiser is urging folks to drink its first alcohol-free beer, Budweiser Zero, while shopping this season. That way, shoppers can keep a clear head and maintain uninhibited decision-making skills when choosing the right gift for Mom. Because while a lifelike stuffed raccoon might sound like a good idea after a bit of booze, the ad warns, it may appear less ingenious in the light of day.

Noting that online shopping is at an all-time high this year, Budweiser vp of marketing Monica Rustgi told Adweek that the brand wanted to “help shoppers stay on their game with a Budweiser Zero as they hunt for the perfect gift.”

Rustgi added that the holiday season marks “a perfect time to reconnect with consumers, introducing more people to the benefits of Budweiser’s zero-alcohol brew in a lighthearted and relatable way.”

The spot, created by David Miami, debuted this week on social. It’s accompanied by a contest that encourages fans to post photos of their regrettable purchases on social media through Dec. 7, tagging @BudweiserUSA and using the hashtags #ShopResponsibly and #Sweepstakes for a chance to win $10,000.

No one really needs a cat balaclava.Budweiser Zero

This marks Budweiser Zero’s first holiday campaign. Anheuser-Busch’s latest entry into the lower and no-alcohol drinks space proved that the beverage giant is continuing to invest in the category, which has seen increased popularity among millennial drinkers in recent years—part of a wider health and wellness trend that’s also pushing drinkers toward beverages with alternative ingredients, like hard seltzer and natural wines.

Budweiser Zero’s holiday ad also ensures that consumers are reminded of the latest near-beer offerings in the weeks leading up to Dry January, the growing tradition of drinkers giving up alcohol for a month following the year-end holidays. Around 20% of adults abstained last year, according to Nielsen.

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