Marketer: Bud Light/AB InBev
Effie Commerce & Shopper Category: Brand Experience (Winner)
To expand its brand loyalty among both beer drinkers and independent bar accounts in the LGBTQ+ community, and to authentically connect with shoppers during the 50th anniversary of the landmark Stonewall riots in New York City, Bud Light worked with FCB/RED to parade out a “Pride” campaign.
The brand’s research confirmed the fact that bars hold a central place in the gay community, and third-party research showed that 85% of LGBTQ+ shoppers in the U.S. place great importance on brands showing support for equality and 78% return loyalty to brands that are supportive of them and their community.
To drive distribution and prominence, gain accounts in LGBTQ+ bars and support from community members, and stoke buzz during Pride month celebrations, Bud Light created its first on-premise-only campaign aimed at voicing hearty support for gay inclusiveness.
To both celebrate Pride and to give back, Bud Light released the first pride-themed bottle from a major beer company, distributed it only on-premise to recognize the locales where the movement began, and donated a portion of bottle sales to GLAAD (formerly known as the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Discrimination).
Elements along the path to purchase included transit installations near gay bars, customized billboards in specific cities, social media messaging, and participation in Pride celebrations including the World Pride event in New York City and other top-tier local markets. With the bottle in hand, the brand figured bar owners didn’t need costly activations of their own.
The “Pride” campaign exceeded all of its goals, according to Bud Light’s calculations. This included 100% sell-through of the limited-edition product with more than 500,000 purchases, incremental distribution in all targeted bars across nine major U.S. cities, the bottle on display in all of those participating bars, and more than 245 million earned media impressions on more than 415 different media and social channels (99% of them positive).
Lastly, the brand took pride in topping its philanthropic goal and raising $100,000 for GLAAD and other LGBTQ+ rights efforts.