Staff Reporters
Jun 15, 2018

Budweiser’s World Cup message in a bottle

JKR Shanghai’s designs try to communicate across China’s “sea of sponsorship advertising”

“In a sea of sponsorship advertising only surpassed in noise by Singles Day, we had an interesting challenge at hand,” said René Chen, partner and managing director of design shop Jones Knowles Ritchie (JKR) Shanghai of her client Budweiser's World Cup advertising aims in China.

“How could we create a differentiating design that’s inherently Budweiser, takes its FIFA sponsorship beyond logo placement, and offer Budweiser’s parallel activations a consistent look and feel?”

The answer was a limited-edition China release of eight bottles bearing the flag colours
of China’s (other) favourite football teams—England, Russia, Germany, France, Portugal, Argentina, Spain and Brazil—emanating from the iconic Budweiser brand ‘bowtie’.

“At first glance the FIFA design may look simple, easy, even. But often the simplest designs are the hardest to crack,” said Chen.

Budweiser’s north-APAC marketing VP for Anheuser-Busch InBev, Joseph Lee, said the designs earned positive feedback on WeChat and led to requests to boost production volume and extend the design to aluminium cans as well as bottles.

“We’re thrilled the collectible bottles capture the celebratory, upbeat and premium experience of the Budweiser brand,” Lee said. “What started as impactful packaging has become extendable and scalable across communications.”

In a release, JKR said its design was meant to tie into Budweiser’s ‘‘Light Up the FIFA World Cup’ campaign activity across 200,000 touchpoints in 25 cities in China, including TV, OOH and in-store. Other activations include the ‘Man of the Match’ sponsorship and ongoing collaborations with Budweiser’s brand ambassador, Cantopop celebrity Eason Chan.

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