Monday, May 12, 2014

Budweiser - This Bud's For You

One could've started off with the Nip the evil in the 'bud' wisecrack but then I decided not to troll my own words.So, this story is about Adolphus Busch's classic tagline - 'This bud's for you!'

Quick history shower: Budweiser, 5% abv(alcohol by volume) is an American Lager introduced in 1876. Essentially a part of the US's popular culture, humour has been to Bud's ads what Isaiah Mustafa is to Old Spice. You get the picture. 

Back to the story: To this date, the most memorable Budweiser campaign (and you might want to dispute that but why, just read on) is the 1979 born ' 'This Bud's for you!' Created by D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, the minute long commercial shows a slew of working men (and a few women) toiling hard in the field with a voice-over that goes: "This bud's for you. There is no one who does it quite the way you do. So here's to you, you know it isn't only what you say, it's what you do."

Here, connoisseurs, watch the spot: 

Relevance+Impact (Read: Yes, the sales went up): The commercial was relevant to the economic times (see what I did there, no, good) prevailing in that era and thus created a huge impact. How else would one explain the sales figures soaring despite the economic depression plaguing the nation at that time. Soon, Budweiser was able to acquire more than 35% of the US. beer market. Within the next two decades the share catapulted to more than 51%. Sales had more than doubled from 35 million to 86 million barrels. #win

15 years too young: Enterprising creativity (and the Clydesdale horses in the lattermost half of the century) are intrinsic to all of Bud's' ads. What's special about this tagline is that that they stuck to it for almost two decades until they severed their relationship with the then incumbent agency and gave the account to DDB Chicago (1994). And even though we saw many more remarkable campaigns after that, like the 'Real Men of Genius' (1998), or the campaign built around the catchphrase 'Whassup' (1999-2002); 'This bud's for you' still rings the nostalgic bell. Though 'Whassup' was a 'true' hit. See it for yourself. (One of the spots from the whassup series was aired during 2000 Super Bowl and had instantly become a pop culture rage)

Drama behind the glory: The story of how the campaign gained popularity is not an all pleasant one. One of the late 80s ads on the 'This bud's for you' theme concentrated on flaunting the body parts of models, some ad critics opined. That didn't deter the beer brand from unabashedly marketing itself as a masculine brand. In June 2008, Anheuser-Busch  signed a deal with the Brazilian-Belgian brewing company In Bev to give life to the world's largest brewer. Together they recorded an annual revenue of more than $37 billion in the year 2010 hence outdoing the No. 1 brewer in the world, SABMiller. The numbers clocked up to $43.2 billion as per their 2013 annual report. Not too bud. (Sorry, had to crack that one, however bad)

The script of the 1979 spot has been turned into a full fledged caller tune, the internet tells me. So, let's hum: 

“For all you do,
You know the king of beers is coming through!

For all you do...
This Bud's for you!”