In the U.S. Budweiser's classic tag, "This Bud's For You" may be all about celebrating yourself. But for this Chinese New Year, the brand may be adding something new to the line with an idea that feels more like, "This Bud's For (Those Who Help You Be) You."
At a time of year in China when folks get together with people they care about, Budweiser in the country is recognizing that "no one achieves anything without the help and support of others." For the holiday, bottles of Bud have been emblazoned with "xie xie ni," Chinese for "thank you."
This sentiment continues in a video campaign from Anomaly Shanghai. At over four minutes long, it tells the story of a recent graduate who clashes with her dad before embarking on a solo bike trip in rural Sichuan Province. There's an unexpected twist at the end, and father and daughter wind up clinking beer bottles. (They actually clink twice. As part of the campaign Budweiser is trying to promote a "double toast," symbolizing togetherness.)
The campaign is a reaction to research showing that holiday homecomings and traditions "seemed to be losing their meaningfulness in contemporary culture, juxtaposed against the backdrop of a generation that is all about 'me' versus 'us,'" a statement from Anomaly said. (A frequent gripe in China is that the one-child policy created a generation of spoiled youth who have the undivided attention of their parents and two sets of grandparents).
In theme, the campaign is somewhat similar to Coca-Cola's work for the 2016 Summer Olympics, which was about being thankful to people you care about and sharing a dream or goal with them. That campaign featured Olympic athletes and their parents, teammates or coaches, including volleyball coach Lang Ping. The same coach appeared in a facet of Budweiser's campaign that played out in Times Square. (Ads in Chinese often appear on billboards in Times Square these days, aimed at impressing Chinese tourists.)
Budweiser, which is marketed as a more upscale brand in China, has done several interesting Chinese New Year campaigns with Anomaly. When the Year of the Horse came around in 2014, Budweiser sent its Clydesdales on a 3,100-mile trip around China, including a stop at the Great Wall of China for a 3-D show.