Ad forms used: Banners and skyscraper ads; Budweiser logo "wallpaper" on CBS MarketWatch pages
Agencies: Tribal DDB unit of Omnicom Group's DDB Worldwide; media handled by Busch Media Group (A-B in-house unit)
Target audience: Men 21 to 49
Online exposure: In March 2001, brand Bud garnered 9.6 million impressions; in June, that number was 30.3 million (Source: Jupiter); spending estimated at $131,786 during May on 5.7 million impressions (Source: NetRatings)
Anheuser-Busch Co.'s Budweiser is known for its innovative TV ads, from talking lizards to ordinary guys who shout "Whassup?!" Now, Bud is looking to prove that online can be just as creative, and extend the life span of TV advertising.
In May, Anheuser-Busch and Tribal DDB, New York, won the Best of Show at the One Show Interactive for a site where consumers could hear and download "Whassup?!" in 36 languages. The tool, at Budweiser.com, is catchy, but the real achievement is the way the site and accompanying TV spot-featuring only a few of the translations and a pitch to visit the Web site-worked together to send fans online, allegedly in droves, though Anheuser-Busch won't divulge specifics.
It's all part of a focused marketing strategy at Anheuser-Busch. "All the offline tools [we use] now have an online mechanism to them," says Tim Schoen, VP-presence marketing. "It's not two or three marketing groups in the organization working separately and not thinking about an online extension."
"What they understand is that online marketing is more about a compelling and infectious idea rather than a particular technical format or technique," says Matt Freeman, CEO of Tribal. The Budweiser site is a testament to integration, featuring TV ads, e-postcards, links to Bud's Nascar sponsorship of Dale Earnhardt Jr., and the BudPlayer, which allows users to customize their computer desktop.
Budweiser's innovations extend to its Web media buys. In March, Bud began a 10-month stint on CBS MarketWatch featuring ads that run during the Friday afternoon "daypart" and Bud "wallpaper." MarketWatch came up with the ideas, but credit the marketer for spotting a winning opportunity.
How has it performed? Anheuser-Busch admits results are hard to quantify but thinks its approach is working. "We are still very bullish on this medium because we know that our core audience is getting our messages offline and they're going online to get them," says Mr. Schoen. "If that trend changes, we might change our strategy, but [for now] it's working."