This Blood's for You: Campaign on Campaigns

Budweiser led Brand Summit China delegates in Shanghai through its strategy in targeting Halloween for a major marketing push.

For more from last week's Brand Summit China conference, please see Consumer loyalty and growing individualism pose challenges.

Halloween may appear to be an odd choice to sell a beer brand, Matt Che, VP of marketing for Budweiser APAC North recognised, noting many in the FMCG space “try to associate with it, but few successfully.” Moreover, ROI around spending so much on special packaging and campaigns that tend to focus around a single weekend can seem lousy in the short-term.

But few beer brands owned the space, so Budweiser sensed an opportunity to hit a couple of its key marketing pillars, namely to own meaningful consumer occasions and to lead and shape youth culture.

Data told the company that most of its consumers celebrated Halloween by putting on masks and going to parties with scary outfits. So Budweiser helped them to celebrate by developing their own exclusive masks and turning their beer into “Bloodweiser”, adding red colour to the brew and using packaging that looked like dripping blood.

The genuinely creepy campaign involved disruptive OOH in public squares and transit stations, KOL live-streaming with follow-up discussions among influencers, and immersive events that fit with Bud’s long history of nightclub distribution and marketing. The company claims its Halloween party generated $US$2.2 million in media value.

The exact spend on all channels was not revealed, but Che admitted the immediate ROI was hard to justify. Yet side from heightened social 'buzz', Budweiser claimed it saw a surprisingly strong pickup in organic traffic and a jump in monthly brand preference tracking among consumers that will help Bud's strength over the long-term.

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