Michelob Ultra unveils streetwear line to reflect growing wellness strategy

Linda J. Dodson

Dive Brief:

  • Anheuser-Busch InBev brand Michelob Ultra is partnering with advertising agency Gut Mexico City to launch the brand’s first sportswear collection, known as “Michelob Origins,” according to details sent to Marketing Dive.
  • The line is made up of 16 T-shirts designed by eight Mexican artists. The merchandise is available in the Mexican streetwear chain Lust, along with other locations.
  • The campaign reflects Michelob Utra’s shift toward marketing itself as a healthy, lifestyle-forward brand.

Dive Insight:

Michelob Ultra’s streetwear line, which is now available, further highlights the beer marketer’s growing effort to position itself as a health and wellness lifestyle brand in order to reach younger, more wellness-focused generations.

Research has found that health and wellness are of increasing importance to millennials and younger generations. A Vice Media Group report found that the pandemic has made young people more health-conscious. The survey found that physical well-being was ranked the third most important thing by younger generations following the pandemic’s onset, coming in behind only emotional and medical well-being.

Michelob Ultra, which first debuted in 2002, is the fastest-growing beer brand in the U.S., and the No. 2 beer in the industry based on sales. Due to the fewer calories and 2.6 grams of carbs, the brand has positioned itself as the healthy alternative to heavier brews among the competitive beer landscape. To drive this point home Michelob Ultra in recent years has partnered with numerous athletes such as Olympic runner Usain Bolt and tennis star Serena Williams. Additionally, the brand sponsors numerous marathons.

With the slogan “Train your FUN side,” the new streetwear campaign is designed to “balance the scales between fit and fun,” according to a press release by the brand. The 16 shirt designs are meant to reflect a variety of personalities and tastes. Artists that participated in the collaboration include Monica Loya, Dave Ordnajela, Dozer, Pogo, Roji, Raúl Urias and Hola Lou.

As part of the campaign, Michelob Ultra released a series of videos on its YouTube channel showing off the shirt designs. During the videos, young people are seen cycling, lifting weights and doing other forms of exercise. After they shower, they pull on one of the shirts from the collection while The Chemical Brothers’ song, “Do it Again,” plays in the background.

Michelob Ultra grew in volume by 16.2% in 2019. Despite the pandemic, the brand grew another 22.2% in 2020, pulling in $3.1 billion in sales. According to Forbes, this is largely due to sports. It became the official beer partner of the NBA in 2020 and started to lean into health and fitness as much of the world was forced to stay at home during the pandemic’s early days.

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