Anheuser-Busch is retooling its marketing strategy amid sluggish sales and intensifying competition, reports a WSJ story. A-B plans to pour more money next year into television advertisements for four core brands-Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob and Michelob Ultra-and to reduce spending on smaller brands like Bud Select and Rolling Rock. New campaigns will place increased emphasis on the ingredients in its beers and how they’re brewed. The effort is aimed at shifts in consumer tastes, including greater preference for small-batch "craft" beers and imports. Anheuser’s U.S. sales to retailers grew less than 1% through the first nine months of this year, and much of the increase was from newer products, such as a lineup of European brews it began importing in the spring.
For the Michelob family of brands, new ads created by Euro RSCG Worldwide highlight the traditional way Anheuser brews the beer, a European-style lager with hops grown in Germany. Anheuser will spend about 30 million on the new campaign, the story said.
Anheuser also plans to spend 70 million more than it has this year on ads for Bud Light and Budweiser, particularly in the summer. Budweiser spots have already begun to emphasize the beer’s heritage, with the tagline "the great American lager."