If you're a startup, this Bud really is for you.
For the uninitiated, Ad Age 's Brand Hacks are like speed-dating for startups and marketers. The goal is to bridge the gap between emerging-technology companies and major brands and to start an early-stage dialogue between the two communities. In this case, A-B InBev ($1.4 billion in 2010 U.S. ad spending) is looking for creative partnerships and tech-driven solutions based on areas outlined below.
The open call for submissions is live
As many as six startups will get the chance to pitch before an audience of marketers, agency and media execs. The winner of this hack will be awarded an experimental $25,000 project or partnership with one of A-B InBev's leading brands -- Budweiser or Bud Light -- to bring the idea to life.
A-B InBev is looking to work with startups in the following spaces:
If you watch TV, you know that A-B InBev invests a lot of resources into maintaining a strong presence in broadcast media. Startups such as Shazam and GetGlue opened the door for complimentary programming, social TV experiences, and audio-fingerprinting technologies that augment what you see on TV with additional content. A-B InBev wants to add deeper layers of content and interaction to TV spots -- and they're looking for the latest and greatest technologies and startups to power that process.
Beer: the first social network? Whether you prefer Budweiser, Bud Light or Stella Artois, it's a naturally social experience, always better when shared with friends. The social space continues to grow and collide with 'local' and 'mobile,' offering users new utilities such as information curation, content discovery, the hottest events and gatherings, photo-sharing, commerce and more. If your startup is one that creates or enhances the social experience or provides value and utility that come in handy in social situations, A-B InBev wants to hear from you.
Sports and entertainment
Football, soccer, baseball, basketball and music … you name the experience, and you can bet A-B InBev is there. If your startup can enrich the viewer experience by bringing them into the game, we want to hear from you.
Point of sale
"Track your Bud" is A-B InBev's latest foray into this space. Points of sale at liquor stores, supermarkets and bars are areas ripe for digital innovation and disruption, as technologies become smarter and provide new utilities.
Of course, not all innovation can be stuffed into a predefined category, so if you've built a new technology or platform and think that the beer category and AB InBev could benefit from it, feel free to let us know about that , as well.
Here's what A-B InBev is focused on:
- Finding new digital social tools to facilitate physical social interactions among fans and create more direct relationships between them and the brand.
- Finding new ways to leverage TV, packaging, and point-of -sales material to engage in one to one conversations with consumers.
- Using new analytical tools to prove and understand the power of its digital efforts (ie: calculate ROI of campaigns).
The brands are Bud Light and Budweiser.
The themes are social experiences, sports and music.
Some very important legalese: All startups need to make sure that their idea/product can be implemented while respecting beer laws in the various United States.
How to submit:
Send an email to AdAgeSpeakers@adage.com with the following information:
- Background information: What's your startup all about? What have you built? What are your goals? What's your team like?
- The fast pitch: How could your technology, platform, app or network be used by a brand like A-B InBev? How could it help it evolve new capabilities or expand on current offerings and meet its aforementioned goals? Think creatively here -- it's not about slapping ads all over your new platform, it's about naturally and organically bringing brands into the fold to really leverage what you've built in a meaningful, effective way.
If you're selected to pitch in the brand hacks, we will reach out to you directly. And if you want to watch how it all goes down, be sure to snag your tickets to the Ad Age Digital Conference, April 17 and 18 in New York. The conference has sold out the past two years, and tickets are going fast, so don't wait.