Fact: Bud Light is one of three or four mega beer brands that routinely spends hundreds of millions of dollars to convince the NFL faithful to sip their suds while lounging on couches and channel surfing from one game to another.
Fact: The two organizations partnered to shine the spotlight on Cleveland’s horrific team AND create a brilliant, breakthrough campaign that has this blogger shaking his head and thinking, “How come I didn’t come up with something this smart and strategic?”
Then I remember that my personal and professional motto is: “Expect Less.” That comforting reminder enables me to de-stress.
But I digress.
In case you don’t want to read the article link, here’s the gist of the campaign:
If, and when, the Cleveland Browns win their first game of the season, free beer will be made available in multiple locations in the “Mistake by the Lake” thanks to Bud Light’s “Victory Fridges.”
The specialty-designed fridges, painted brown, chock full of Bud Light beer AND chained shut will be unlocked by smart technology as soon as the game ends.
The football team’s official Twitter site announced the campaign with the following: “You’ve stood by us through it all. We love you for it and so does @budlight.”
FYI, the chained fridges will open regardless of whether the Browns win at home or on the road.
Analyzing this campaign from a strategic communications standpoint, I feel compelled to point out the following:
- This would NEVER have happened if the Browns hadn’t embraced their vulnerability. That tells me they have wise, humble ownership (a rare commodity in any business).
- In one fell swoop, Bud Light outflanked every one of its competitors vying for market share in BrownTown. Critically, though, they also connected with NFL and beer fans alike by “rooting for the underdog.” I’m not a Browns fan and I don’t drink Bud Light, but you can bet your last glass of Sancerre that I will be closely following the Browns’ exploits and maybe, just maybe, will buy a six-pack of Bud Light to join the celebration.
The latter is called “consideration” by marketing types and it’s the currency of the realm. If ANY marketer can disrupt my typical buying (or viewing) pattern AND get me to consider their product in my selection process, then they’ve completed the sales equivalent of a Hail Mary pass.
I wish the Browns well, salute their willingness to embrace vulnerability and lift my wine glass to the brilliant marketers at Bud Light.