Bud Light is making drastic changes to capture American millennials
Bud Light doesn't want to be the laughingstock of the beer industry any more.
"Consumers are changing, society is changing, and there is an opportunity for the brand to change," Bud Light vice president Alexander Lambrecht told Business Insider. "If we want to remain as relevant ... we have to move with the times."
A major identity revamp is underway at the biggest beer brand in America. While Bud Light continues to make up about 18% to 19% of Anheuser-Busch InBev's US business, the brand's sales have significantly slipped in recent years as the power of craft beer grows.
Here's how the biggest beer in America is evolving to survive the craft beer revolution.
See photos of Bud Light through the years:
Updating the sense of humor
"If you look at the humor that was relevant back in the '80s, '90s, early 2000s, it was very different than the humor that is right now," Bud Light vice president Alexander Lambrecht told Business Insider.
To modernize the brand's sense of humor, Bud Light turned to Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer, two comedians who Lambrecht describes as "relevant and real." The duo will lead the "Raise One to Right Now" campaign, which launches on Super Bowl Sunday and will continue in the coming months as the presidential election heats up.
Both comedians are known for portraying themselves as an everyman or everywoman -- Rogen with endless roles as a aimless manchild, Schumer literally starring in a movie called "Trainwreck." Their public personas aren't aspirational types who would be sipping craft beers. They are lovable because they are down-to-earth and relatable, a position that Bud Light would love to emulate.
Making over bottles and cans.
In December, Bud Light announced it had a new, very blue look. The redesigned cans and bottles feature a new logo, cut the color red, and returned the "AB" crest to labels after 14 years off of the packaging.
"Our inspiration for the design was very much looking forward, while finding inspiration in our past," says Lambrecht.
In other words, Bud Light is trying to emphasize authenticity in its design. That's a smart move in the age of craft beer -- if customers buy it.
Ditching traditional advertising.
Another lesson that AB InBev is learning from craft beer companies is the importance of nontraditional advertising.
Last year, Bud Light turned a small ski town into Whatever, USA, an experience-focused marketing stunt that provided a valuable blueprint for a new way to sell beer. With millennials' acute awareness of when they're being marketed to and the increased importance of authenticity, you can expect to see more experimental advertising from AB InBev in the coming months.
Social media is also increasingly important, something that plays a key role in the "Raise One to Right Now" campaign.
In addition to the now-expected Super Bowl ad, the brand will also have a custom Super Bowl emoji for #BudLightParty. Schumer and Rogen's online popularity provides Bud Light with the chance to catch consumers' eyes not just when ads are playing on television, but also online, where fans can share commercials organically -- if not out of love for Bud Light, then out of appreciation for the comedians.
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