Having watched rival Miller Brewing Co. take its fledgling, lime-and-salt flavored Miller Chill brand national last year, A-B is launching a lime-flavored version of flagship Bud Light.
In a memo to distributors, the brewer said it would support the May launch with a $35 million media, merchandising and sampling blitz, including entertainment and sports TV, online, print and outdoor ads.
The brewer declined to cite the agency handling the launch. Its primary shop is Omnicom Group's DDB, Chicago, but sibling Goodby Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco; LatinWorks, Austin, Texas.; Cannonball, St. Louis and Havas' Euro RSCG, Chicago, are also on the brewer's roster.
"Our extensive consumer research indicates that the Bud Light Lime concept and taste are off the charts with today's consumers," the memo from A-B's VP-innovations, Pat McGauley, and VP-trademark brands, Dan McHugh, read. "This insight will allow us to take Bud Light to the next level."
The memo said the brand's "consumer target" were light-beer drinkers ages 25 to 54 who prefer a "sweeter" beer, as well as "trendsetters and aspirers."
Miller has done a respectable job with the Chill launch. According to industry executives, the brand has sold 450,000 barrels, good for a 0.3% market share. At launch, the company said the goal was a 0.5% to 1.0% market share by the end of this year.