AB InBev has decided that the time is ripe to try to get millennial consumers on board with the King of Beers. The company has stated, it thinks persuading 21- to 27-year-olds to try and stay with Budweiser is the best way to stop a 25 year decline. Bud peaked in 1988, when Anheuser-Busch shipped 50 million Bud barrels, and is only a fraction today, below 16 million barrels.
By comparison, ten years ago Bud sold five times as much as the entire craft beer industry - today the two are on par. This is the first sign of Budweiser turning away from its traditional marketing to all segments.
Since millennials have become of legal drinking age they are now a driving force in the economy. As a result, the traditional Budweiser marketing strategies that were developed for boomers are no longer working in a digitally driven population – Enter the “Up for Whatever” campaign that is pulling in millennials and generating a stronger brand passion than ever before.
Anheuser-Busch invited 1,000 millennials who were “up for whatever” to spend the best weekend of their lives in Whatever, USA this past September. In preparation for the event, they took over Crested Brutte, Colorado and turned the small ski town into one of the most coveted destinations for millennials. Citizens of Whatever, USA partied with celebrities, made hundreds of new friends, participated in some outrageous games and, of course, drank Bud Light for three straight days.
The campaign has become extremely successful because the overarching goal was to generate millennial brand awareness.