We Like Bud Light. Now What?

We’ve had a good look at the viewership of Super Bowl over the last couple of days.  One thing we know is that viewership of the game has been evolving.  The evolution is happening on a demographic level.  It’s happening on a behavioral level.  It’s happening on a psychographic level.  Now only is the “who” changing, but also they “why” and sometimes “how”.

The sporting event of the year is now the advertising event of the year.  It’s an exciting time for advertising, even for the general public, not just marketers.  In fact, 18% will look up Super Bowl commercials online or on smart phones on Super Bowl Sunday.  So, the internet is definitely playing a role in Super Bowl XLV.

So now, it’s time to turn the discussion from viewers to advertisers.  The most anticipated commercials will be those from Anheuser-Busch.  In a recent survey, 29% of the respondents is looking forward to Anheuser-Busch commercials.  This is because they have debuted crowd favorites year after year.  Such consistency builds trust.  Such consistency builds expectations.  Such consistency builds brands.

But even advertising giants have to adapt to the changing world of marketing.

This year, Bud Light has launched a Facebook effort ahead of the Super Bowl.  Tactics included Facebook ads, Facebook apps, and Facebook wall posts with video teaser.  It’s a well designed campaign centered around the highly anticipated commercials.  Fans are asked to comment on the plot of the commercials based on stills.  If the fans guess the plots correctly, Bud Light will release another commercial online.

I think this is a smart strategy to engage Bud Light fans, and build up top-of-mind awareness for Super Bowl Sunday.  After all, you need to stock up on beer for the game!

One of the obvious key performance indicator is how many new “Likes” Bud Light accumulates over the course of the campaign.  You have to “Like” Bud Light before you can participant in the game.  We see this in many Facebook campaigns.  Accumulating “Likes” holds obvious appeal to marketers.  We get to feed you content to your Facebook stream.  For a brand like Bud Light, engagement these final days ahead of game day could make a huge difference in sales (assuming people are not snowed in).  So, this is a good strategy for Bud Light.

However, it remains to be seen how advertisers are going to move beyond accumulating “Likes” and pushing contents.  How would we eventually move beyond the framework of push marketing?  Maybe one day, big advertisers will be ready to be social in social media.  It’s a real forum to dialogue with fans.  But for many of us, we are still quite a ways off from figuring out just exactly how do we want to do that…

Email Subscribers: Link to Screenshots of the Bud Light campaign

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