Budweiser kicked off 2017 with one of the most buzzed-about ads of the Super Bowl—telling the story of the company’s immigrant founder, Adolphus Busch. Over the course of the year, the brand had a something “like six more Super Bowl moments,” according to Ricardo Marques, vp of the brand in the U.S., who credited Budweiser’s collaborative agency model—shops like Anomaly, David Miami, VaynerMedia, Mosaic and 3PM work on the brand—with its success.
“It’s great to see different agencies building on each others’ ideas to really make things better,” Marques said. “That’s really the secret sauce behind what’s been happening on Budweiser. Because of that, we all of a sudden widen the funnel of ideas that we can get and given the collaboration, we get to much stronger and faster ideas. That’s what allowed us to have a Super Bowl every month and a half this year.”
During 2017 four of the brand’s spots—”This Bud’s for 2;” “Brewed by Vets for Vets;” “A Dream Delivered” and “One Last Ride“—garnered 135 million views. That number doesn’t include its Super Bowl spot, “Born the Hard Way,” which nabbed 35 million views. (The other Super Bowl-level moments include the brand’s work to bring beer to Mars and the launch of the Budweiser’s 1933 Repeal Reserve line.)
“If you look back at this year, I’m excited to see that we took a bit of a different approach to how we built excitement around Bud this year,” Marques explained. “The conclusion of all that was that we ended up bringing ourselves like six more Super Bowl moments throughout the year on the back of amazing cultural moments and great content.”
In 2017, Budweiser “learned that throughout the year we can disrupt, we can cut through, we can grab people’s attention without necessarily putting the brand in a situation where it might be misinterpreted that we’re saying something that is not actually the case, which was the case with Super Bowl,” Marques added.
He continued: “Let me tell you that the vast majority—and we measured it from social media mentions to sentiment—[the response] was super positive but we don’t need to go into spaces or topics that don’t correlate with the message we want to put out as a brand, do not correlate with the strategy of the brand, do not correlate with what our drinker is looking for.”
The brand won’t be bringing back its immigrant story for Super Bowl LII. Instead, it will take a “different approach with the same goal in mind [for Super Bowl], which is getting America talking about Budweiser as well as strategically humanizing the brand which is something we did this year,” Marques noted, adding, “the biggest challenge for us is to remind our drinkers that there are good people, a human heart behind this successful brand. But very, very different way in.”
See the spots below: