DDB and Bud Light reimagine 'Swear Jar' with a lot more nudity

Posted on Mon Jan 25 2010

Bud Light is going back to the well to get a little pre-Super Bowl buzz going. In particular, the brand and agency DDB are reimagining their famous "Swear Jar" ad from 2007 as a clothing drive. In the old ad, employees put money into a jar every time they said something profane. When told it would subsidize the purchase of Bud Light, they all began swearing like Dick Cheney, though the actual words were bleeped out. Here, each article of clothing donated nets a bottle of Bud Light. Soon, we see people in an office environment walking around in skivvies (and generally flabby bods) and then nothing at all. It looks like they got a lot of the same actors this time around, but for some reason, it's not quite as hilarious, maybe because it's just a twist on an old (though great) idea and the surprise of the original is gone. Still, I bet it shows up on a lot of Facebook pages this week.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

'Getting it in the can' is the best thing Bud Light's done in a while

Posted on Wed Sep 9 2009

Apparently, Bud Light can't do anything right. After years of strong ads, the No. 1 beer brand served up the awful "Drinkability" campaign. Recognizing the error in its ways, it scrapped that work after a year and is now kicking off football season with its "Tailgate approved" effort. Right off the bat, Anheuser-Busch came under fire for creating "fan cans" that are decked out in the colors of local colleges. University heads around the country decried them for encouraging binge drinking. Then the TV ads, which spoof infomerical king Billy Mays, hit the air. Not only is mocking cheesy DRTV ads a tired idea, but Mays recently died of a heart attack. Now, I realize Mays isn't Michael Jackson or Farrah Fawcett, but aren't these ads kind of tasteless, all things considered? Still, one advertising trade magazine thinks the new Bud Light Lime viral effort (from DDB Chicago) that talks about "getting it in the can" is even more tasteless. I couldn't disagree more. The problem with Bud Light and beer advertising in general is that brands are afraid to have fun. Sure, thinly veiled anal-sex jokes appeal to "the lowest common denominator," but who cares? We're talking about beer. A-B and its agencies need to have a couple and loosen up even more, because its recent run of ads have been a buzzkill.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

It's hardly worth sponsoring a fight if Brock Lesnar is involved

Posted on Tue Aug 11 2009

That Brock Lesnar, what a charmer! After he brutally beat down his smaller opponent in last month's UFC 100 in Las Vegas, trash-talked the dazed guy and flipped off the booing crowd, he dissed Anheuser-Busch's Bud Light, the event sponsor. "I'm going to go home tonight, and I'm going to drink a Coors Light. That's right, a Coors Light," he said, while looking at the Bud Light logo in the middle of the fighting octagon. "Because Bud Light won't pay me nothing." Maybe Coors Light should. Turns out Lesnar's outburst, and the coverage that followed, brought in $250,000 worth of unexpected media exposure for the brand, according to Joyce Julius Co., which tracks the value of sports sponsorships. The breakdown: major pickup from SportsCenter and other ESPN programming; 400 news stories that referenced the brewhaha; and 1,300 blog posts, including a glowing one from Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban (who thought it was the best speech ever). Lesnar later changed his tune and sipped a Bud Light at the post-fight press conference, saying it's all beer to him and he'll drink anything. A-B might not be quite as thrilled.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

Heineken's ads becoming a lot funnier than Bud and Bud Light's

Posted on Thu Apr 2 2009

When it comes to laugh-out-loud TV commercials, Budweiser and Bud Light get all the props. But one beer brand that's stepped up its game, though it often goes unnoticed, is Heineken. The slightly skunky-tasting import dropped the pretentious act a number of years ago and has positioned itself as an everyman's beer—albeit a superior one. (It even got Zoolander into the act.) Its latest ad in heavy rotation shows women getting excited about a closet full of shoes, only to be drowned out by men screaming about a closet full of beer. The spot surely looks like a page torn out of the Bud playbook, but frankly it's a hell of a lot funnier than any of the aimless "Drinkability" ads that Bud Light has been airing. Still, neither Bud nor Heineken created the best beer ad of all time. That honor goes to Guinness.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Expect more cameos from advertisers on Jimmy Fallon's show

Posted on Wed Mar 4 2009

Actor, producer and multi-Grammy-winning performer Justin Timberlake might not consider singing a jingle for Bud Light Lime. Not as himself, anyway. But as Michael McDonald? He did it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (at about the 6:50 mark of this video) and got chuckles for his decent impersonation of the former Doobie Brother. But there was a business purpose, too. It kicked off a product integration deal between the chat show and the brand, which is sponsoring the green room backstage.
  Was the placement awkward? No more so than the rest of the well rated though somewhat painful show, in which Saturday Night Live alum Fallon is obviously trying to get his hosting sea legs under him. He said Timberlake would charge "a hundred and fifty thousand million trillion dollars" to record a ditty for Bud Light Lime but asked him to improv a song as McDonald. Timberlake obliged.
  Before the show launched, NBC late-night exec Rick Ludwin said it could be a showcase for product placement and live commercials, up to a point. "I don't think you'll be seeing 'the Jimmy Fallon show brought to you by Sunkist,' " he said.

—Posted by T.L. Stanley

'I Love You, Man' brings whole Bud Light universe to the screen

Posted on Mon Mar 2 2009

Peter Klaven is a successful real-estate agent who's getting married but has no best man. Peter embarks on a series of "man-dates" in search of his perfect match, who ends up being Jason Segel (an actor now appearing in nearly every comedy produced). The movie, called I Love You, Man, might end up being a laugh riot, but one thing bugs me. Every time I see the trailer, I wonder just how many Bud Lights the writers had. Not only did they borrow the movie's title from a Bud Light ad, they borrowed the entire premise (let's call it awkward man love). In the Bud Light ads, which aired in the mid-'90s, "Johnny" breaks down and tells everyone from his dad to Charlton Heston that he loves them. They treat him with disdain, mostly because he's just doing it to get his hands on their beer. This makes me wonder how long it will take before Budweiser's "Whassup?" becomes a movie. Starring Jason Segel, of course.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein

Did Perez Hilton work on the Bud Light 'Drinkability' campaign?

Posted on Fri Feb 13 2009

Having lost out on the idea of cold refreshment to Coors Light and "Tastes great. Less filling" to Miller Lite, Anheuser-Busch decided to invent a word: "drinkability." However, the campaign to support it has been decidedly less inventive. Bud Light relies on a rather unfunny dude with a magic finger who can doodle on people and landscapes. This strategy has been employed with much better success by Perez Hilton, Demetri Martin as well as Harold and his purple crayon.

—Posted by Kenneth Hein


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