UK: Anheuser-Busch aims for Budweiser “re-premiumisation” in UK
Anheuser-Busch is looking to "decomoditise" its Budweiser brand in the UK with a new campaign for the beer.
The UK arm of the global brewer on Friday (7 March) unveiled 'True Dedication', an integrated campaign emphasising what the unit describes as "the authenticity and quality story" of Budweiser.
"We're looking to reignite today's consumers' appreciation of Budweiser and to educate and engage with trade customers," A-B's UK marketing director, Vicky Kipling told just-drinks.
The campaign, which begins this month, includes below-the-line activities and on-premise sampling, with above-the-line components which include a TV spot, outdoor, print and digital activity. The above-the-line side will launch next month.
Financial details behind the programme were not disclosed. "Our spend will get us back near the top in terms of share of voice in alcohol - you will notice us," Kipling said.
The sampling campaign, aimed at reaching 50,000 consumers, will target high-street bars and university campuses. Consumers will be given an unbranded bottle and encouraged to sample the beer inside, with the brand's name being revealed via a text message
"We want to move away from everything being about 20-packs," said Kipling. "That plays a part in the whole commoditisation of the beer category. We want to get some value and interest back into the six-packs and ten-packs." Kipling noted, however, that A-B would continue to offer its 20-pack 'slab' in the country.
"Our driver is to protect our brand from over-commoditisation," Kipling continued. "There's a bit of re-premiumisation. It's about getting back to what this brand is about - authenticity. Beer is in danger of becoming a bit of a commodity, and we need to make sure we protect our brand. We could go and buy share if we really wanted to do so, but that's not what this is about."
When asked about possible price increases, Kipling said: "As with all brewers, we're looking at our cost base and we need to continue to look at that and move our price points upwards, yes."
A-B is also currently finalising details of a "bespoke" music sponsorship programme in the UK, although Kipling declined to give further information.
Budweiser currently accounts for about 3.4% of the total UK beer market in volume terms.
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