The Boldest Marketing Move Budweiser, or America, Can Make

By Travis LeJune, Account Intern

Budweiser-The Great American Lager: The country’s third most popular beer has always been known for some largely patriotic, expensive, and radical advertising campaigns. With roughly a 1.3 billion dollar marketing budget, and being one of the top 25 biggest advertising company spenders in the country, there just may be too much money for the company to play around with. You may remember Bud Light’s marketing strategy to help you “Remove ‘NO’ from your vocabulary.” As if I have to explain to you why that was negatively perceived and quickly removed from their bottles.

Well, now they are trying something very bold, blunt, and exciting for their 2016 summer marketing campaign for Budweiser - temporarily renaming the beer “America” until the November presidential election. In honor of what a great election it has been (I am not sure their marketing VP John Socquet has been watching the same election I have).

Budweiser, America, Ad Campaign

If you were unaware, Anheuser-Busch was originally an American beer, until 2008 when it was bought by a massive company in Belgium called InBev. Now it is AB-InBev, and it is the largest beer company in the world (and no longer an “American” beer), taking up 20.2% of the world beer production. So was this bold move a little too obvious? Does it make them look extreme, or even desperate? It is definitely a risky move by candidly naming their beer what they have less directly advertised it as for years. It could make people skeptical of how American they really are if they have to name the beer “America.”

However, even with much skepticism and disapproval of this extravagant marketing campaign, I think many can agree: it will probably work. Who doesn’t want to drink America? If you are like me and would rather go buy a local craft beer that was brewed by hard working Americans right down the street, then you are already drinking America. However, I’m sure you can imagine as easily as I can a group of patriotic Americans sitting out in lawn chairs, feeling more pride and ownership of their country than ever, while gulping down a nationalistic can of America. Budweiser plans to use this campaign to advertise during the Olympics, which they are an official sponsor of, to tell stories about the athletes. As bold, risky, and outrageous of a move it is for their marketing team to temporarily rename and re-brand the beer “America,” people will be intrigued and it will make money. America sells!

The Goss Agency is a full service advertising and marketing agency that specializes in consumer motivations and creating brand loyalists. To find out how The Goss Agency can help your brand, email Dari Mullens at or call (828)259-09910 x110.

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