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Super Bowl Ads Part II: Budweiser and brand loyalty

February 8, 2012

The only alcohol company that ran ads during the 2012 Super Bowl was Anheuser-Busch, which has been one of the top companies to feature new ads during the big game for years.

The company aired five different commercials, with three different themes. There were two commercials devoted to rolling out their new brand, Bud Light Platinum. One of those ads is in a factory setting, where the new age beer is being processed. The other Bud Light Platinum ad takes place in a high rise building featuring young urban professionals who mix work and play. As is with most advertising that targets the twenty-somethings, this ad is full of “pretty people.”

A second theme in the Budweiser ads that ran during this years Super Bowl was the theme of prohibition. The first ad featured a sad and dull society, with everyone focused on working. However, once prohibition is lifted everyone celebrates and Budweiser is delivered to a local saloon by the Clydesdale horses. The other prohibition themed ad takes viewers on a historical timeline ride from decade to decade from the 1920s all the way to the present, showing how in every era Budweiser has been enjoyed by the masses.

What is interesting about Anheuser-Busch’s use of the prohibition theme is that the company did better than most during that period. The company produced near-beer, a product that would rival the non-alcoholic beers on the market today. The company also received special licenses during prohibition to make beer above the near-beer level for “Medicinal purposes,” thus allowing them to stay ahead of their competitors. Lastly, the company was selling malt syrup, which they said was for making companies, but some sources acknowledge that this product was for those who wanted to make their own beer at home.

The last ad that Budweiser featured during the 2012 Super Bowl was an ad that continued a marketing trend begun by the beer company in the 1980s. Budweiser featured a dog named Wego, which when called by someone would hear, “Here We Go.” This has been a tag line of Budweiser ads in recent years and in is the command in this ad for the dog to go fetch beer for people.

This marketing trend, using dogs or other animals, that act human began with the company’s create of the character Spuds McKenzie in the 1980s and has been repeated by their use of frogs, lizards, horses and mice. Wego is just the most recent in a long line of animals used to grab the attention of children in order to build Brand Loyalty. Developing brand loyalty works like this; if we can get children to think of our brand when they think of beer, it will increase the likelihood that they will purchase Budweiser when they are of drinking age. The use of animal characters who act human is the tool they use to plant their brand in the minds of children, a technique that advertisers have been using, which is based on their understanding of brain development in children.

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