If someone asked you what you immediately think of when you hear Budweiser, what would you answer? Do you simply think of beer? Or maybe of their world famous Clydesdales? What about “extremely clever marketing”? This is what drives all brands and pushes it toward mass-awareness and it is exactly what Budweiser has done – now boasting a massive 12,860,553 Facebook fans and growing.
Regardless of whether you have ever consumed Budweiser, you are bound to have heard of them (and even seen one of their videos at some stage in your life). So, how has Budweiser wormed its way into our lives in such a clever way that as consumers we haven’t even realized that they have made themselves such a highly regarded household name?
Everything Budweiser has incorporated into their advertisements has been carefully selected for ease of recognition. From the simple but regal (and borderline patriotic) red, white and gold of their labels, down to the traditional beer wagon and their cleverly selected, very easily recognized Clydesdales, who are now world famous in their own right and pay homage to the roots of the company and how their beer would have been delivered when they first started.
Each of these decisions all add together to create their brand, embodying a royal aura (after all, Budweiser is the “King of Beers”) and creating a distinctly recognized brand. If anyone mentions “Clydesdales” the immediate reaction is “like the Budweiser horses?” (I talk from experience).
Well, not all their infomercials are lovable – some are a little more on the serious side. Regardless, the point remains that Budweiser Clydesdale ads are some of the most frequently shared videos amongst social media on an ongoing basis. All the ads are along the same lines: they use their Clydesdales branding to tell a story that is either heart-warming, feel-good or portrays an important message.
While these ads don’t generally relate to Budweiser directly, they do all tug at the heartstrings. And with their branding symbols (draught horse cart, Clydesdales logo) splashed through each ad, it’s almost impossible not to realize who the ad features straight away. To see this yourself, the 9/11 ad is featured below.
While this ad only ever aired once (as Budweiser openly stated it was a “tribute” and they didn’t want any financial gain to come from it), it has received over 20 million views on YouTube collectively (imagine how many Facebook shares it has on top of that). So while they may not have made any monetary gain from this ad, they have certainly set out what they aimed to do.
The best form of advertising for your business is word of mouth. In my last blog post I discussed the importance of social media, realising your target audience, and optimising your content to target that audience.
So how do they turn their consumers into brand ambassadors? At the end of any of their ads (apart from the 9/11 ad above) they have the hashtag #bestbuds – proving that they embrace the use of social media. They encourage engagement which creates a whole board of brand ambassadors across Facebook, Instagram and twitter.
While Budweiser has done away with the traditional age or gender specific posts, it’s undeniable that their videos, impeccable uniform branding, and hashtag promotions will in some way or another, draw in most people’s attention even if they don’t consume alcohol. There is certainly a lot we can learn from Budweiser in regards to effective branding, product story-telling and subliminal messaging. Did you see the “Budweiser” logo on their beer wagon? I bet you did.