Budweiser to be renamed as “America” for summer campaign

With the upcoming Centennial Copa America, the summer Olympics and of course, the Presidential campaign, Budweiser are zoning in and using their brand to make a statement.  Budweiser’s 12-oz cans will now all be re-named and re-labelled to “America”, with patriotic straplines running underneath. 

Very stylish, very different, very clever.  A great marketing strategy to make them stand out, show their support (cleverly in a non-bias way) and show that the brand is strong enough to stand a name change for the summer period.

1) Innovative name change?

To some yes for others it does cause some controversy.

The design sleek in its appeal and silver in its appearance.  The words America will be prominently displayed in the middle, with the words US and United States of America above.

Strap lines have also been approved and added to the cans, such as “land of the free” and “home of the brave”.

Everything that Budweiser are doing, they’re doing in a timely manner.  Displaying of course their support for America but also providing the reason to have a connection with Americans – it’s as if they’re all on the same page, so brand loyalty is immediately built.

Budweiser’s simple design also shows the power of packaging.  Not all visual elements have had to change, so it is still recognisable it just reads slightly differently.  From a branding perspective it works to the same succession as Pepsi and Coke when they introduced personalised names on their bottles.

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2) The power of visual identity

What Budweiser invoke by changing the name of their beer to America is one that we see in advertisements, it might not be reality but it’s one we all like, appreciate and want.  The summers outside with friends and family, BBQs, pick-up trucks, fires, camping, getting away etc – all with of course a bottle of cold beer by your side – bring in America…

What Budweiser have done with their brand is conjure up these images and instances where their brand appears.  Taking this one step further they’re now associating themselves with everything America has going on this summer, and not just small things either!

They are relating to their audience – they have sold America to their American audience.  Reinforced with the letters “liberty and Justice for All”, “Indivisible Since 1776” and “this land was made for you”.

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3) The big stage

Budweiser have taken their brand and shown how they want global dominance.  They are reaching out and using the slogans as campaign messages.  To show their support, Budweiser is America (and not just in name).

Of course the new labelling will be couple by a full ad campaign entitles “America is in your hands”.

Reported in The Daily Mail, Anheuser-Busch InBev U.S. marketing VP Jorn Socquet said: ‘You have this wave of patriotism that is going to go up and down throughout the summertime.

‘And we found with Budweiser such a beautiful angle to play on that sentiment.

budweiser_america_campaign_the_branding_journal_34) A summer for success

Well that we’re unsure of just yet but from a branding perspective they’re certainly ticking all of the right boxes.

By elevating the word “America” they are making a bold statement and association – according to The Drum, for a brand to be able to do this temporarily it gives them freedom to solidify what it means to consumers quickly as well as show the spirit of the brand.

It’s also a way for the brand to stand out against the “noise”.  Its communications, marketing and PR all of a sudden pick up the pace and consumers follow this and start to become aware – of course just the novelty of it too can help to increase sales!

For Bud, they’ve done everything right by keeping other branding elements the same, it’s still recognisable, but they’ve now linked themselves to America and this can be a hard association to drop (not that they’d want to).  All in all this could be an extremely successful branding campaign for them and until November when the campaign ends, it will be interesting to see media reports and sales reports throughout.

References: The Drum,The New Yorker The Daily Mail

Pictures from: The Drum News Talk Florida Daily Mail

Amanda is a copywriter with over 10 years’ experience in the world of marketing and communications. With an effective and no nonsense approach, she can look at any challenge with a creative and can do attitude.

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