USA: “People like Bud Light commercials but not the beer”

“Dilly Dilly” is one of the most respected beer campaigns in the last years and the phrase has become a social meme within only a few months.  Anheuser Busch undoubtedly has created a real hit with its medieval “Dilly Dilly” campaign for its Bud Light brand.

However, Greg Butler, Customer Success Manager at MillerCoors, says that sales show that people like the commercials but not the beer. He claims that his brand (Miller) Lite is performing much but than its direct competitor. Both brands are falling in consumer acceptance, but while(Miller )Lite shipment volumes were falling “only” 2.8 percent last year Bud Light shipments were down alarming 5.7 percent.

Still Bud Light is by far the leading beer brand in the United States with a market share of 15.4 percent by the end of last year compared to the much smaller 6.1 percent of its competing brand by MillerCoors.

Anheuser Busch claims that a viral campaign like “Dilly Dilly”needs some time to show results in sales because individual brand perceptions cannot be changed from one day to another. "Step one has to be exactly what we are doing, getting the brand back into conversation in a fun way, connecting it to friendship ...that's my whole focus," says Andy Goeler, Vice President, Bud Light Marketing. "If I'm able to do that for an extended period of time…sales will follow."

Miguel Patricio, Chief Marketing Officer of AB InBev, points out that people are not only loving the campaign but the commercials are also stressing the fundamental values of the brand. The medieval setting is emphasizing the tradition of the beer brand while making a reference to epic fantasy stories, especially the very popular television series Game of Thrones. In addition, the commecial shows that the product is preferred by the kings, another reference to the Budweiser brand. The original Budweiser brand from Budějovice has been called "The Beer of Kings" since the 16th century. Adolphus Busch, co-founder of Anheuser-Busch, adapted this slogan to "The King Of Beers."

Moreover, the first commercial, called “Banquet” is also an overt allusion to the latest craft beer craze.  While the king in the commercial is cordially greeting the subjects who bring Bud Light to the dinner he orders the guards to take one invitee to the “pit of misery”, who presents him a “spiced honey mead wine”.

But one questions remains: What does “Dilly Dilly” mean? "’Dilly Dilly’ doesn't mean anything. That's the beauty of it. I think that we all need our moments of nonsense and fun,” say Miguel Patricio. And the daily life seems to proof the success of the campaign: When you share a beer with friends at a bar, you can actually hear people shouting “Dilly Dilly” instead of “Cheers!”

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