Busch pays homage to tech keynotes to promote apple-flavored beer

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Busch Beer has debuted a new flavor, Busch Light Apple, the company revealed in a press release shared with Marketing Dive. It is the first time the beer company has tested a new flavor in its 65 year history.
  • The Anheuser-Busch brand revealed the new flavor in a humorous new keynote address from brand spokesperson Busch Guy. The campaign includes two 30-second TV ads: one that features part of the keynote and a product-focused spot.
  • Busch also redesigned its website and is offering a Busch Light Apple Beer Replacement Protection plan to the first 1,000 people who share a photo of the new Busch Light Apple on social media, payable as $10 dollars for “a replacement pack.”

Dive Insight:

Busch Beer has relied on humorous videos starring its spokesperson Busch Guy to promote its products and this latest campaign follows the same playbook.

To correspond with the new apple flavor, the Busch Guy gives a keynote speech that looks like it comes from an Apple press conference. He wears a blazer over his signature plaid flannel — this time, as a turtleneck, in a nod to Steve Jobs — and reveals the details of the new product on a stage giving a slideshow on the new product. The presentation shows the 12 oz Busch Light Apple 1.0 next to the 16 oz Busch Light Apple 1.1, a nod to technology jargon of different versions of products. Like a tech CEO would introduce accessories, the Busch Guy goes on to promote merchandise including t-shirts and a beer koozie.

The social media contest, which calls consumers to share photos of themselves with the new product, is a nod to tech as well. Just as consumers purchase insurance to replace broken computers, the Busch Light Apple Beer Replacement Protection plan will “replace” beer that has been drunk.

In addition, the campaign includes a 30-second spot set to Yello’s iconic 1985 song “Oh Yeah,” best known for its use in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” Busch has frequently played off nostalgia in its campaigns, revisiting its past jingles and teaming with Billy Ray Cyrus.

The campaign follows earlier campaigns starring Busch Guy, who has promoted the beer with humorous videos. Earlier this year, he starred in an effort promoting a social media contest for couples whose 2020 wedding plans were impacted by coronavirus-related shutdowns. Couples that have had to change their wedding plans due to the pandemic could enter to win a year’s worth of Busch by posting it about it on Twitter or Instagram.

Busch Light has seen sales increase during the first half of the year, and is one of the fastest-growing brands within all of beer in 2020, according to the press release. Testing a new flavor suggests that the brand is looking to capitalize on this popularity with a brand expansion. Also, the apple flavor aligns with the brand’s identity as a beverage to drink outside, at a time when people are planning more summer camping trips.

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