Background Information about Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser-Busch is a brewing company based in the United States of America that specializes in manufacture of alcoholic drinks, especially beer and lager. The main company office is located in St. Louis, Missouri. It is believed that Anheuser Busch is the largest brewing firms in the USA.According to Ogle, the company has more than twelve brewing plants within the United States and eighteen other breweries in different countries across the globe (2010) . In the past few years, Anheuser Busch has opened several breweries in countries such as China, Canada and United Kingdom. The company also provides recreational and club entertainment activities through its Entertainment Division.
The company was purchased by Eberhard Anheuser in 1860. Eberhard Anheuser later admitted his son-in-law, Adolphus Busch, as a trading partner in 1869. According to Plavchan, Anheuser-Busch was the first brewer in the United States of America to use pasteurization and artificial refrigeration as methods for preserving beer (2008 ). Additionally, Anheuser Busch was the first company bottle and market beer extensively within the American market. The company also operates and owns various theme parks in United States of America. In mid 2008, Anheuser Busch was acquired by InBev from Belgium.
Major Beer Brands Manufactured by Anheuser-Busch. Anheuser Busch brewing company is well known for production of a variety of brands of beer. Some of the major brands of Anheuser Busch Company include Budweiser, Michelob and Bud Light. In addition, the company manufactures Busch and Natural Light brands of lager. Most beer brands of the company are considered premium and thus specially designed for the elite consumers.
The production of numerous brands of beer has called for extensive marketing efforts for the products. Between 1876 and 1996, Anheuser Busch Company used refrigerated railroad cars to transport its beer brands to various markets across America. Budweiser was the first beer in America that acquired a national image. During this period, Anheuser Busch marketed Budweiser as a premium beer. In my opinion, the Budweiser brand was designed for high profile and elite personalities in the society.
Additionally, the company introduced another super-premium brand dubbed Michelob. This was another high-end beer from Anheuser Busch Company whose marketing mainly targeted consumers from upper social class. Bmaforth argues that Anheuser Busch is the largest brewing firm in America. He further estimates that Anheuser Busch covers a market share of approximately 50 percent (2009 ).
Marketing and Advertising Trends and Target Customers of Budweiser Beer. Budweiser beer was introduced into the market by Anheuser Busch Company in 1876. It is one of the best-selling beers in USA. Budweiser contains approximately five percent of alcohol. Most of the advertising activities of Anheuser Busch Company have evolved around sporting activities such as the Super Bowl. Budweiser beer has also sponsored racing events and motor sports. NASCAR and the Budweiser King are good examples of companies sponsoring sport activities. Budweiser has also sponsored motorsports, horse racing and basketball.
The company has developed a series of television and radio advertisements that have been successfully used to promote most of its brands such as Budweiser and Bud Light, for example, the American Heroes and Real men of Genius are the renowned advertising series that has been used by Anheuser Busch Company to promote Budweiser.
According to Krebs and Orthwein, Anheuser Busch has used Bud Man as the advertising character for Budweiser beer for many centuries (2011 ). The Bud Man is a superhero who has appeared on many products of the company. In 19xx , the company used Bud Man to market its products in university campuses. In my view, the major audiences or target customers for these advertisements were university students. However, the efforts of Anheuser Busch Company to effectively promote Budweiser through advertisements in university campuses were curtailed by federal laws which limit the extent of marketing and promotion of alcoholic products within learning institutions. The federal laws propose that marketing, advertising or promotion of alcoholic products should not portray such products as being more important to education (Georgetown University, 2005; Cooper, Wright & United States, 2010).
Between 1990 and 2003, Budweiser beer became the sole sponsor of English Premier League in the United Kingdom. In the English Premier League, the company created a merger of two rival teams, Manchester City and Manchester United in one single team called One Manchester. During the matches, adverts of the beer read “You will do the Football, We’ll do the Beer”. In my opinion, the sponsoring of football matches by Budweiser was an advertising initiative to promote the brands amongst footballs fans and stakeholders. Most of the advertisements during the matches directly targeted football fans.
In my view, the sponsoring of sporting activities by Budweiser clearly indicates that the company targeted young and energetic men who love sports. Moreover, Anheuser Busch Company used advertisements engaging sportspersons so that it would directly link and identify Budweiser beer with the target consumers of young men. Sponsoring of sporting activities such as motorsport, football games like the English Premier League and basketball matches showed Budweiser’s social concern and responsiveness.
Additionally, Anheuser Busch Company has effectively used occasional advertisements to market the Budweiser beer, for example, during annual Christmas celebrations, the company runs an advert called Here Comes the King. In my view, these advertisements target consumers during the festive season celebrations. The advertisements target consumers such as tourists who are out for Christmas celebrations.
In early 1990s, Anheuser Busch Company used the words ‘Under the Anheuser Busch” to advertise its products. The advertisements incorporated three frogs named Bud, Weis and Er(Anheuser-Busch Brewing Association, 2007; Price & Coleman, 2010). The use of the three frogs in the advertisements made them humorous, interesting and appealing to most customers. This greatly helped in increasing the sales of the Budweiser brand.
In 2009, Budweiser developed numerous advertising campaigns that were specially designed for the Chinese market. These advertisements targeted the Chinese consumers, which the company considered to be one of the most potential and fastest growing markets in the world. In order to increase the market share for Budweiser in China, Anheuser Busch Company has manufactured new design of Budweiser beer that has colors of the national flag of China. Such designs are intended to provide adequate identification of the brand with the target Chinese consumers.
Most advertisements of Budweiser had classical appearances that were quite appealing and attracting to the customers. For example, the inclusion of red, blue and white colors in their logos and advertisements identifies the brand with American people. In such advertisements, the entire American society is the target audience. The use of the red, blue and white colors strongly links the brand to the American culture. Moreover, some advertisements of Budweiser had images of an eagle. This further connects the brand with America because the Bald Eagle is the national bird of United States of America.
However, MacIntosh asserts that since the acquisition of Anheuser Busch by the InBev Company in 2008, various changes have been experienced within the company (2011 ). Most operations of the company have changed, including advertising strategies and efforts. For example, in 2009, the company announced a huge reduction in its advertising costs through television. Furthermore, the company proposed that it would no longer sponsor the 2012 Summer Olympics. Various contracts of different advertising agencies of the company have also been terminated and withdrawn (Bernstein Research, 2011). Advertising agencies such as Omnicom Group and Silverstein & Partners had their contracts terminated. The number of new advertisements was also reduced from one hundred to less than fifty.
Since 2009, Anheuser Busch Company has been using a new advertising slogan called King of Beers to market Budweiser (Film on Demand & Films Media Group, 2009).
Selected Samples of Advertisement Pictures. Form my part, this advert was designed to target specifically the adults. Anheuser Busch Company was complying with requirements of federal laws that implied manufacturers of alcoholic drinks to ensure that their products were advertised and sold only to adults or persons above the age of twenty one.
Furthermore, the advert advices consumers of alcohol to drink responsibly. This ensures that the health of the consumers is not put at risk, for example, customers should not drink alcohol and drive thereafter because they may cause accidents and harm themselves as well as others.
Lastly, the advert proposes that it is the responsibility of the company to ensure that the wellbeing of the customers is well taken care of. In my view, this indicates social responsibility and concern of the company towards its target customers. In addition, the advertisement was compliant with requirements of federal laws government advertisement and promotion of alcoholic products. According to the federal laws, advertising and marketing of alcoholic products should be intended for adults who have reached the legal purchasing age of 21 and above. This helps in ensuring that alcohol consumers drink responsible.
In the above advert, Budweiser is depicted as a beer suitable for sharing with friends in social gatherings. The advert portrays Budweiser as the only beer that can provide real life to consumers. In my view, the advert targets consumers who are in their middle adulthood as shown by the lady and the gentleman in the picture. In addition, the presence of the lady in the advert indicates that Budweiser can also be consumed by women, hence it is not gender discrimination.
Analysis of Effectiveness of Advertising Efforts by Budweiser. The Advertising Federation of Australia asserts that advertising is a vital tool that has been used by many business organizations to promote their products (2008[ ). Successful advertising often results into increased sales, hence high returns to the company.Riggs asserts that for an advertisement to be effective, it should be informative, creative, arouse curiosity as well as emotional appeal, and feature renowned personalities to provoke consumers’ feelings and believes on the product (2010 ).
In my opinion, the inclusion of sports celebrities in most adverts of Budweiser successfully aroused the urge of consumers to purchase the product. The pictures sued in the advertising were also eye capturing and appealing. Additionally, the use of a few but powerful words in the advertisements also made them more informative.
However, it is important to note that the goals of advertising vary throughout the life cycle of the products. First and foremost, newly introduced products would require extensive advertising so as to create adequate awareness amongst the target consumers. During the early stages of the product development life cycle, an organization would use advertising to inform the potential consumers that a particular product is available in the market as well as persuading them to try out the new product.
In relation to the advertising efforts of Budweiser, I would argue that the company successfully managed to market the brands when it was introduced into the beer market. Through intensive advertising techniques, Budweiser was able to market itself amongst the consumers. Through the use of hilarious advertisements and influential and persuasive words, the company was able to convince the consumers that consuming Budweiser beer was the best choice they would ever make.
Secondly, as the new firms entered the alcohol industry, Budweiser successfully used advertising to maintain its market share. Moreover, the marketing and advertising efforts were supported by development of high quality brands of Budweiser beer such as the Budweiser and Bud Light lagers. New marketing strategies were also developed to induce more people to consume Budweiser beer.
Thirdly, during the maturity stage of product development, the marketer needs to explore ways of retaining current customers as well as attracting new consumers. The maturity staged is often characterized by reduction in sales volumes and increased competition. In this regard, a firm must formulate and implement strategies that would to enable it gain competitive advantage above the competitors. In my view, Budweiser managed to gain competitive advantage over other competitors through development of a variety of brands of beer. Various strategies were also deployed to enable the company explores new markets such as China and Canada. Extensive advertising also enabled Budweiser to maintain a strong brand image amongst the consumers.
In conclusion, I would argue that Anheuser Busch Company has effectively used advertising to create awareness amongst the target consumers about the existence of its beer brands such as Budweiser and Bud Light in the market. Through extensive and intensive marketing strategies, the company has created and maintained a large market share for Budweiser beer. The sales volume for the brand has also increased incredible throughout its lifetime, despite the existence of other stronger brands in the market. Today, Anheuser Busch Company was well known for its increased presence in United States of America.
I would also argue that proper use of advertising by Budweiser has assisted the company in creating a strong brand image in the alcohol industry. The use of various symbols such as the red, blue and white colors in the logos of Budweiser products have effectively identified the brand with consumers in United States.
Moreover, the use of great sport personalities in advertisements has successfully created an illusion that consumption of Budweiser would make an individual as great as the sportspersons in the adverts. Most people usually like to be associated with greatness, success and achievement.
Furthermore, intensive advertising helped Anheuser Busch Company in increasing awareness amongst consumers of alcohol and exposing them to Budweiser beer. This incredibly stimulated consumption of Budweiser.