Budweiser honors healthcare workers and military heroes in new campaign

Dive Brief:

  • Budweiser kicked off a new marketing campaign showcasing new limited-edition packaging and honoring frontline heroes who have given their lives protecting others, including military heroes and essential workers during the COVID-19 crisis, ‚Äčthe company announced via a press release.
  • As part of the effort, the AB InBev brand made a short film called “Take Two Minutes,” which shows the parallel lives of a soldier and a nurse, both putting on their uniforms and their masks and heading out of their homes to their respective frontlines.
  • Another spot, “Taste of Freedom,” promotes three new limited-edition Budweiser Patriotic cans that honor the five branches of the United States Military. For every case sold between Memorial Day and the Fourth of July, Budweiser will donate $1 to the military charity Folds of Honor. Budweiser is also sponsoring a livestream charity event concert hosted by Folds of Honor and promoting the use of the hashtag #TakeTwoMinutes on social media to remember heroes who have given their lives.

Dive Insight:

Budweiser, which has a history of running Memorial Day campaigns that honor the nation’s heroes, has updated the message this year to honor those that have given their lives helping others during the COVID-19 crisis. The brand has shown its skill in the past at delivering heart-tugging ads that connect with consumers, with its “Serve Our Heroes” salute to fallen military earning the highest Empowering score last year on an Ace Metrix report gauging the impact of purpose-driven commercials.

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Whether the brand’s new campaign will make as strong a connection as similar past efforts remains to be seen given its arrival during an unprecedented heath crisis that is having a significant impact on consumer behavior. Coronavirus-related ads are starting to feel the same to consumers as a number of brands have pivoted their marketing to provide messages of support and tribute during the health crisis, according to more recent Ace Metrix research. At the same time, the potential for a negative impact is growing as measurements of feelings related to exploitation increase for ads as the pandemic continues.

The environment that the campaign lands in has been changed by the coronavirus in other ways as well, with beer sales up since lockdowns started in March, as people stocked their pantries and hunkered down at home. The sales have continued to be above average since then, with sales for the week ending May 9 reaching $983 million, the highest sales week since the Fourth of July last year, per Nielsen research published in Brewbound.

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