Sunday, The Wall Street Journal reported that in an effort to market Budweiser to the 21-27 year old demographic, Anheuser-Busch would be dropping the Clydesdale! Long-time consumers responded quickly and harshly on the King of Beers’ Facebook page! WSJ got it wrong, though!
Targeting a younger demographic doesn’t mean the end of the iconic horses at all, as the company clarified on Facebook Monday evening. This received another wave of comments that can best be summed up as a collective “phew!” We will still see Clydesdales in holiday ads for responsible drinking, and they’ll make an appearance in Super Bowl commercials, too. In addition, Anheuser-Busch will market to millenials using what they think would be of the greatest attraction!
The latest campaign from Budweiser, Holiday Buds, still has that traditional, vintage feel. The ad can be found on YouTube before videos and customizable online music stations like Spotify and Pandora. These are the kinds of services that the 21-27 year old demographic use often. In the short video, 20-somethings speak to viewers as if they are old friends who should reconnect over bottles of Bud. It’s not a high-quality product, but a montage of consumers’ own videos recorded either on webcams or smart phones. This kind of advertising to the millenials seems like the best approach based on the Facebook outrage to the proposal of using “zombies & Jay-Z” in their ads! Holiday Buds touches on the trend of selfies, video chats, and staying in touch with family and friends even when we’re not physically close enough to touch them!
For now, we can expect Budweiser to be everything we’re used to, and everything we expect of them during the holidays. What about after the Super Bowl, though? With the waves of negative feedback they got from the *WSJ slip, we’re hoping Anheuser-Busch will listen to the consumers rather than corporate marketing on this one, and rethink their approach to reaching their target demographic.
*How often does The Wall Street Journal get it wrong? If this was really just a tactical invite for consumer feedback, well played, Anheuser-Busch! Well played!