Best of 2016 No. 6 Print/OOH/Design: Anheuser-Busch Drops 'Budweiser' for 'America' on Summer Cans

Brand Unveils Limited-Edition Patriotic Packaging

Published On
May 10, 2016

Editor's Pick

Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.

At No. 6 in Print/OOH/Design, earlier this year Budweiser made a bold move dropping its name altogether from its cans -- and replacing it with the simple name of America. It was a timely idea given election season, and it also paid off -- according to Google's annual year in search report, "Budweiser in America" was the top beer-related search term in the U.S.

Original Story:

On Monday, Ad Age and Creativity reported that Budweiser, which has dressed bottles in stars and stripes in previous summers, could be poised to make one of its biggest patriotic plays yet. According to a filing with the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, the brand had sought approval for new labels that replace the Budweiser name with "America."

Today, the brand has confirmed the limited-edition label change. "America" would replace "Budweiser" on the front of and 12-oz. cans and bottles. The packaging will run from May 23 through election season in November, the brewer stated. The agency that handled the design change is Jones Knowles Ritchie, New York. The packaging will be accompanied by a summer-long campaign called "America is in Your Hands." A national TV spot featuring the cans and bottles will premier on June 1.

The labels won't stop at "America." They will also include phrases such as "E Pluribus Unum" and "from the redwood forest to the Gulf stream waters this land was made for you and me," as well as "indivisible since 1776."

Budweiser, which is owned by Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev, has a history of using patriotism in marketing. Last year, limited-edition packaging included an image of the Statue of Liberty. The brew has also used stars-and-stripes on can designs in recent summers.

"We are embarking on what should be the most patriotic summer that this generation has ever seen, with Copa America Centario being held on U.S. soil for the first time, Team USA competing at the Rio 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games," said Ricardo Marques, vice president, Budweiser in a statement. "Budweiser has always strived to embody America in a bottle, and we're honored to salute this great nation where our beer has been passionately brewed for the past 140 years."

Budweiser is an official U.S. Olympic Games sponsor. The brand recently stated that a number of Olympic athletes would appear in a new ad slated to premiere in June and run during the Olympics broadcast on NBC. Budweiser also stated that it is "creating a branded and editorial content series that tells the inspiring stories of Team Budweiser athletes, which will premiere in June."

In addition to the "America" packaging, the brand will also unveil cans and bottles depicting a magnified view of the Statue of Liberty's torch. Team Budweiser, the brand's six Olympic and Paralympic athletes, inspired the design. That packaging, available on 16-ounce and 25-ounce cans as well as 16-ounce aluminum bottles, will hit shelves from May 23 through mid-September.

Budweiser's agency is Anomaly.

This story originally appeared on