A-B COOLS DOWN BUDGET FOR AILING BUD ICE BRAND: OUTDOOR, RADIO SUPPORT WILL FOCUS ON STRONG SOUTHEAST MARKETS

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Anheuser-Busch is cutting back on TV spending for its slipping Bud Ice brand, and will emphasize regional outdoor and radio support.

New radio and outdoor executions will appear in core markets, and existing TV creative executions will continue airing on network and cable, including prime-time and late-night shows. Last year, spots typically ran during National Hockey League broadcasts.

Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, handles TV and radio for the brand; Waylon Co., St. Louis, does outdoor.

"When we move them to prime time and late night, they will still be new" for consumers who don't watch NHL games, said Tim Murphy, brand manager on Bud Ice.

The outdoor and radio advertising will be focused on strong Southeastern markets, such as Atlanta; Charlotte, N.C.; and major Florida cities.

MORE ATTENTION TO BUD, BUD LIGHT

The decision to rein in TV comes as A-B channels most of its marketing energy behind a new campaign for its core Budweiser brand (AA, March 16) and Bud Light.

Spending levels will be consistent with last year, Mr. Murphy said, although he would not give specific details.

A-B put $10.1 million behind Bud Ice in 1997, down 29% from the year-earlier period, according to Competitive Media Reporting. Virtually all that was in TV; outdoor received $11,000 and there was no measured radio spending.

Sales of Bud Ice fell 7.3% during 1997, to 1.5 million cases, according to industry newsletter Impact.

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