Budweiser social push helps fans scream profanities atop a mountain

Dive Brief:

  • Budweiser is promoting this month’s rollout of its first Utah-themed beer with a campaign that celebrates the “charming way” that residents of the state swear. As part of its “The Beer Utah Swears By” effort, the brewer is giving people a chance to win a ski trip where they can scream profanities atop an isolated mountain in the state, per information emailed to Marketing Dive.
  • Utah this month became the first state to have a specially designed Budweiser bottle, which has a label saying “This Bud’s for U-Tah” and imagery from iconic sites throughout the Beehive State. In-store ads have toned-down Utahan curses such as “holy shizz,” “oh my heck” and “frick yeah.” The specially marked beer is available in stores throughout Salt Lake City until May 7.
  • The “Swear, Sip and Ski” contest will reward the winner and a friend with a helicopter ride to the top of a mountain for a day of heli-skiing, a cash prize, lunch and dinner and a two-night stay at a lodge in Snowbird, Utah. To enter, Budweiser is asking people to follow its @BudweiserUSA handle on social media and post a comment with the #BudUtahSwearsBy and #Sweeps hashtags by April 16, per its announcement.

Dive Insight:

Budweiser’s campaign and sweepstakes gently poke fun at the mild manners of Utah residents as part of a longer-term effort to engage consumers in the state. The contest is notable for being open to all U.S. residents, not just Utahns, which increases the likelihood it can go viral as social media users share their contest entries with friends and followers. Budweiser can boost its following among consumers who are more likely to be brand loyalists, and engage them with future promotional efforts.

The campaign includes a heavy in-store presence with its signage of Utahan curses, along with the placement of “swear jars” at some retailers. Each time someone buys a “swear” with the swear jar, Budweiser will make a donation to the Utah Clean Water Partnership “while cleaning up your mouth,” The Salt Lake Tribune reported. The environmental pledge can help to build goodwill among consumers who like to see brands giving back to their communities.

Budweiser’s campaign follows last year’s effort to become the first official state beer of Utah, when it asked Twitter users to tag tweets with the #Bud4Utah hashtag. The brand promised that the state would get custom Budweiser packaging if it could reach 84,499 tags or retweets, a number equaling the square feet of the Utah. Budweiser posted a video on its YouTube channel with a character named “Jed” who explained how Budweiser’s new packaging would fit with other “official state things” like the sego lily, Utah’s state flower.

The push to become the official state beer came almost a year after Utah permitted beers with alcohol content of 5% to be sold in grocery and convenience stores. To celebrate the occasion, Budweiser in October 2019 held a mock funeral for its last shipment of 3.2% beer that included a procession through the streets of Salt Lake City, and claimed it was the first brand to sell higher-alcohol beer in Utah.

With the U.S. economy reopening as pandemic restrictions are eased in many regions, Budweiser ramped up a variety of campaigns. To celebrate MLB’s Opening Day games on April 1, the brand offered a pop-up stadium experience for baseball fans in New York and Chicago who were unable to attend games in person. The campaign came two weeks after Budweiser took a different tack for St. Patrick’s Day, an occasion that typically drives higher beer consumption. Instead of dyeing its beers as it had in past years, Budweiser turned the idea of being green into a promotion for sustainable energy.

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