Integrated marketing communication(IMC) is not only a concept but also a process that influences brand value, credibility and sustainability. Evolving trends of the market have served as key drivers for many organisations to adopt integrated marketing communications in order to sustain competitive advantage namely; reducing impact of messages to consumers, positive increase in audience segmentation, need to address all the stakeholder needs through cost-effective means of communication, increasing emergence of ‘marketing communication mix’ through an upsurge in mergers and acquisitions, escalation in the segmentation of various media platforms, need to stand out amongst ‘me-too’ products, rise in retailer’s power as well as an organisation’s endeavour to make a mark in the global market (Thorson and Moore 1996).
For over 160 years, the brewing industry has been dominated by Anheuser-Busch InBev and its world-class American-style lagers namely; Budweiser and Bud Light that have a combined market share of 46.4%. Although the inherently popular beers follow a family recipe utilised by five generations of the Busch family, their successful stint has been enhanced by prudent employment of integrated marketing communication strategies that has continually evolved over the years by comprehensively encoding the message to the firm, successfully conveying the message through the ad in a manner that can be easily decoded by its target consumers (Anheuser-busch.com 2016).
(wisconsin distributors 2016)
Starting from the 1950s wherein Anheuser-Busch InBev sponsored the popular show “The Ken Murray Show,” with engaging campaigns for Budweiser like “Pick a Pair” that established its market dominance which it continued to maintain through a range of catchy taglines in the coming years like “This Bud’s for You” in 1979 and “Head for the Mountains” as well as the dramatic “Bussscchhh!” can-opening sound of the late 70s and early 80s which highlighted Budweiser’s sensible approach of marketing communications by its ability to emblazon the ad in the consumer’s brain thereby helping them steadily climb the market share ladder (Anheuser-busch.com 2016).
Budweiser’s spectacular emotional advertisements with catchy background music which impessively manages to touch on the emotions of the target audience were screened during the Super Bowl which is the coveted championship of the National Football League in America having a reach of 111 million viewers namely; “Puppy Love” in 2014 followed by its sequel “Lost puppy” in 2015 managed to strike a chord with its audience by endorsing two celebrities i.e. the golden Labrador puppy and Clydesdale was a phenomenal breakthrough in advertising campaigns by succinctly capitalising on social media’s reach (Siegel 2016).
- BUDWEISER SUPER BOWL AD 2014
(Clevver news, 2014)
The sequel to “Puppy love” garnered an overall viewership of 44 million views across YouTube and Facebook; being the most watched advertisement of 2015. The video set off first on Facebook with 18K views ahead of YouTube though YouTube managed to catch up in terms of views towards game day. (, 2015)
- SEQUEL TO PUPPY LOVE SUPER BOWL AD 2015
(Clevver news 2015)
(L2 INC 2015)
The Facebook campaign “Buds for buds” allowed an individual to purchase a can from their official website and send it to their friends which they could redeem at the participating bars for this campaign. (JONES 2015)
Budweiser has 145K followers on Twitter with 11.4K tweets and approximately 13 million followers on Facebook highlighting their strong social media presence which is contributing to their market dominance (Budweiser.com 2015).
The company employs sensible strategies in terms of planning out the frequency of its advertisements namely; intense digital promotions before, during and after Super Bowl games which are effected subsequent to teasers one week prior to the game as well as promotional tweets against the competitors in order to maintain their competitive advantage.
Budweiser has made shrewd public relations strategies such as sponsoring various high profile events like the UK premier football league, the Manchester United football club, American football, basketball, baseball, 2006 FIFA World Cup, 2008 China Olympics etc.
The daily media consumption of the target audience is approximately eight hours with more than two-thirds from television and radio while the remaining consumption is from print media. Budweiser has very wisely targeted most of its advertisement campaigns for television viewers through a judicious public relations programme in order to capitalise on television’s heavy media consumption through the launch of emotionally intriguing advertisements over the past few decades.Another instance of wise public relations strategy by Budweiser is to keep its website up-to-date and issue press kits in conjunction with every press release (Jugenheimer et al. n.d.).
With increasing dependence on the internet in our lives, individuals are resorting to expressing their views, likes and dislikes for various commodities as well services through facebook posts, tweets and live videos (DebBois 2016). This word-of-mouth propaganda has worked in favour of several companies dominating the market like Budweiser which has been a popular beer-choice since the past two centuries.
Currently, Budweiser’s “Not backing down” campaign in 2016 has again served to reinstate their market dominance. Hence, from the discourse; we can gather that Budweiser has adapted to evolving market trends of the times by aptly capitalising on various means of integrated marketing communications; namely advertisements, social media, public relations programs as well as word-of-mouth in order to maintain its market position.
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Jugenheimer, D., Kelley, L., Hudson, J. and Bradley, S. (n.d.). Advertising and public relations research.
Thorson, E. and Moore, J. (1996). Integrated communication. Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Anheuser-busch.com. (n.d.). About Anheuser-Busch InBev | Anheuser-Busch.com. [online] Available at: http://anheuser-busch.com/index.php/our-company/about-anheuser-busch/information-about-ab-inbev/ [Accessed 6 May 2016].
JONES, C. (2015). 5 WAYS TO MAKE SOCIAL PLATFORMS WORK FOR YOU. [Blog] Available at: http://www.beutlerink.com/blog/5-ways-to-make-social-platforms-work-for-you/ [Accessed 6 May 2016].
L2 INC, (2015). Super Bowl Insight: Puppies Bring Money. [image] Available at: https://www.l2inc.com/super-bowl-insight-puppies-bring-money-2/2015/blog [Accessed 5 May 2016].
Zaryouni, H. (2016). Super Bowl Insight: Puppies Bring Money. [Blog] Available at: https://www.l2inc.com/super-bowl-insight-puppies-bring-money-2/2015/blog [Accessed 7 May 2016].
Clevver news, (2015). Budweiser “Lost Dog” Superbowl 2015 Commercial THE FEELS. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWeKtqWc2EA [Accessed 9 May 2016].
Siegel, A. (2016). Budweiser’s ‘Puppy Love’ crowned Ad Meter 50 for 50th bracket champion. [online] Super Bowl 50 Ad Meter. Available at: http://admeter.usatoday.com/2016/02/03/budweisers-puppy-love-crowned-ad-meter-50-for-50th-champion/ [Accessed 6 May 2016].
Siegel, A. (2016). Budweiser’s ‘Puppy Love’ crowned Ad Meter 50 for 50th bracket champion. [online] Super Bowl 50 Ad Meter. Available at: http://admeter.usatoday.com/2016/02/03/budweisers-puppy-love-crowned-ad-meter-50-for-50th-champion/ [Accessed 5 May 2016].
Clevver news, (2014). Budweiser Clydesdale Puppy Love Super Bowl 2014 Commercial. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7p_3lITiK_Q [Accessed 9 May 2016].