AUGUST BUSCH IV STEPS INTO AD SPOTLIGHT FOR BUD: DESCENDANT OF BREWERY'S FOUNDER BOLSTERS FAMILY IMAGE

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After five years working behind the scenes to sell Anheuser-Busch beers, August Busch IV is going to pitch the company's flagship Budweiser brand in TV commercials.

Mr. Busch, VP-marketing for A-B, stars in a 60-second spot from DDB Needham Worldwide, Chi-cago, that breaks in the coming weeks. He does the voice-over for the ad, which opens with a picture of his great-great-grandfather, the brewery's founder, and appears on camera at the end.

"I'm not by any means a professional actor, but we're going to try something and see how it works," Mr. Busch said last week.

SHOWCASING TRADITION

A-B is trying to position itself as a company with deep family roots and a long tradition of producing quality products rather than the cold corporate giant depicted by some craft brewers.

The brewer plans to spend $100 million overall on a marketing campaign focused on quality, heritage and freshness, Mr. Busch said, adding that the "quality" campaign will make up about half the Bud spots planned for the year.

A-B Chairman August Busch III will appear in a spot being shot next month. Some subsequent ads will include brewers; others will focus on the beer's ingredients.

Although DDB Needham did the first spot, A-B is soliciting ideas from the other agencies it works with, including Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, and Open Minds, Laguna Beach, Calif.

Bud's superstar frogs are for now hopping into the sunset, though they will be mentioned in a spot starring Louie the Lizard that breaks in a few weeks, Mr. Busch said.

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