In Battle of Lime Brews, Bud Light Gives an Extra Twist

How DDB Picked Up on Santogold Before She Became So Indietastic

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We don't do much synergistic link-baiting here at SFS, but our very own Jeremy Mullman wrote a story about Anheuser-Busch's promotion of M.I.A.-torchbearer Santogold, so we'll bite. By now, you've probably seen the ads for Bud Light Lime that feature her song "Creator," but did you ever wonder how a bunch of suits from a beer giant found her before she broke out?

From Ad Age:
[Rick Leininger, Bud Light's brand director] credited Bud Light's ad agency, DDB, Chicago, with bringing Santogold to the brewer's attention. The shop's senior producer for music and integration, Gabe McDonough, said he focused on Santogold after asking her label, Downtown Records (best known for Gnarls Barkley), which artists it would be focusing its own promotional energy on this summer. ...

"As soon as I heard 'Santogold,' I said bingo," said McDonough, who was well aware of her status as one of the most talked-about acts at March's South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. "She's got a big, neon spotlight in the music world right now." (The Los Angeles Times wrote that "her beats pop like bubble wrap.")

Mr. McDonough set the ads to her music and then concocted the idea for a remix of her single "Lights Out" as a free website download. "We wanted the brand to provide an experience for people that they couldn't otherwise have," he said.
What's also interesting about the Santogold placement is that rival brewer Miller is currently employing a similar strategy with its similar -- and to be fair, pre-existant -- Miller Chill (also a lime-flavored beer). According to Reuters, a new spot that dropped the week before the Santogold-Bud-Lime spots features a song by the Brazilian singer Curumin, who, while not possessing half of the American buzz of his competition, still puts up a pretty eclectic, hip, indie fight with the song "Guerreiro."

The same Santogold track from the Bud Light Lime ads ("Creator (vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty)") can also be heard in an Extreme Style VO5 Gel ad:

[Via Ad Age]

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