Anheuser-Busch has marketed Bud Ice as a ’party beer’ since its launch
in 1996. Through sponsoring dance event Cream Fields and snowboard
competitions, the brand has raised its profile in the eyes of young
James Lousada, marketing director, was looking for opportunities to link
Bud Ice with its target market.
The London Transport deal came about as a result of an approach by TDI,
which sells the ads on London Transport sites.
For pounds 250,000 (pounds 25,000 more than last year’s deal with
Nicorette), Anheuser-Busch was offered 5500 Tube posters, including 75
of the 48-sheet cross-track sites, 600 bus sides, 11,000 bus interior
ads and 1350 bus shelter six-sheets.
The brand will also receive coverage on 330,000 information booklets
about holiday season transport. This should mean that between one and
two million travellers will see Bud Ice ads over the festive period.
Most crucially for PR coverage from local radio and TV stations,
consumers are offered free travel on bus and Tube on New Year’s Eve
funded by Bud Ice.
The deal lasts a month, with posters going up this week. Bud’s agency,
BMP DDB, has created ads featuring the insects which have already
starred in TV and press ads for the brand.
Research from TDI shows that consumers understand the nature of this
sponsorship better than most deals. ’They know that if Bud Ice hadn’t
paid for this deal, they wouldn’t be travelling for free,’ says Mike
Baker, TDI marketing director. A poll after last New Year’s Eve showed
that 89% of people enjoyed New Year more knowing that they could get
home without paying.
However, the potential success of Bud Ice’s deal was dealt a blow last
week when rail union RMT called a New Year’s Eve strike.
The strike may be called off, but if it goes ahead it casts doubt over
whether Anheuser-Busch will want to proceed with the sponsorship. All of
which goes to show that there’s always something which can go wrong with
an apparently perfect deal.
Client: Bud Ice
Campaign: Posters/sponsorship, including free travel on New Year’s Eve
Timescale: Until New Year’s Day, (strike permitting)
Budget: pounds 250,000