Creativity

Bud Light Tries to Resurrect Its Punchline Personality in Ad Evoking 'Game of Thrones'

Brew Has Struggled to Find Right Tone to Appeal to Today's Drinkers

By E.J. Schultz. Published on Aug 25, 2017

Editor's Pick

Bud Light is channeling "Game of Thrones" in a new ad that tries to bring back the frivolous, funny marketing that propelled the brand in its heyday. The spot by Wieden & Kennedy marks the first of several upcoming humorous ads for the nation's largest brew, which in recent years has struggled to find the right tone to appeal to today's drinkers.

The new ad is called "Banquet" and debuted ahead of this weekend's "Game of Thrones" season finale. It shows people presenting a king and queen with increasing quantities of Bud Light. After one man makes the mistake of attempting to please the royals with a "spiced honey mead wine," he is banished to the "pit of misery." Throughout the ad, the made-up phrase "Dilly, Dilly" acts as a medieval version of "cheers."

"I think beer is inherently a fun product," says Andy Goeler, a longtime Anheuser-Busch employee who took over VP duties for Bud Light in March. "It's all about being with friends and having fun."

"This is, to me, is the personality of Bud Light," he added, recounting classic Bud Light catchphrases like "I Love You Man."

In recent years, Bud Light has veered from one campaign to the next, with each approach failing to connect with drinkers who are gravitating to wine and spirits and trendy craft brews. Bud Light's last real attempt at humor came in 2016 with the politically themed "Bud Light Party" campaign starring Amy Schumer and Seth Rogen. But the punchlines were clouded by attempts to take positions on progressive causes such as gender pay equality. The ads fell flat and Anheuser Busch yanked the campaign in October amid slow sales, before the election even took place.

Bud Light shifted to the "Famous Among Friends" campaign in January with ads that included some humor but also plenty of sentimentality, including one ad that showed how the friendship of two men endured through the years. Spuds MacKenzie came back for a Super Bowl ad. But the party pooch's return was a one-time deal, leaving some industry observers scratching their heads as to why the brand would waste a pricey ad buy on a temporary creative device.

The new ads stick with the "Famous Among Friends" tagline. But Goeler is putting his stamp on the campaign by leaning way more into humor than previous ads in the campaign. "There's a lot of things you can do with 'Dilly, Dilly,'" he said, chuckling. "It's part of the fun. That's the Bud Light world." He also wants the brand to be culturally relevant, he said, confirming that the script of the new ad was influenced by "Game of Thrones."

While attempts at humor will consume the majority of Bud Light's upcoming ads, the brand will supplement the jokey spots with ads that focus on beer quality, he said. Two product-focused ads debuted earlier this month.

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About

Credits

Date
Aug 25, 2017
Agency:
W+K New York
Client:
Bud Light
Executive Creative Director:
Karl Lieberman
Creative Director:
Brandon Henderson
Creative Director:
John Parker
Copywriter:
Alex Ledford
Art Director:
NJ Placentra
Head of Integrated Production:
Nick Setounski
Executive Producer:
Temma Shoaf
Assistant Producer:
Jordan Leinen
Strategist:
Nick Docherty
Account Team:
Brandon Pracht
Account Team:
Price Manford
Account Team:
Lauren Wilson
Business Affairs:
Patrick O'Donoghue
Business Affairs:
Justine Lowe
Business Affairs:
Brit Fryer
Communications Planning Supervisor:
Mark Malloy
Project Manager:
Sunjoo Ryou
Production Company:
O Positive
Director:
Jim Jenkins
Executive Producer:
Ralph Laucella
Executive Producer:
Marc Grill
Director of Photography:
Dion Beebe
Editorial Company:
Arcade Edit
Editor:
Dave Anderson
Post Executive Producer:
Sila Soyer
Post Producer:
Andrew Cravotta
Editorial Assistant:
Chris Angel
Editorial Assistant:
Micah Chase
VFX Company:
The Mill
Executive Producer:
Verity Grantham
Producer:
Clairellen Wallin
Producer:
Hayley Wallach
VFX Supervisor:
Nathan Kane
2D Lead:
Keith Sullivan
2D Team:
Jimmy Bullard
2D Team:
Ting Jung-Hsu
2D Team:
Taner Besen
2D Team:
Ari Garber
2D Team:
James Cudahy
Production Coordinator:
Michael Brown
Telecine Company:
Company 3
Head of Color:
Tim Masick
Grade Artist:
Tim Masick
Mix Company:
Sound Lounge
Mixer:
Tom Jucarone
Executive Producer:
Mike Gullo
Producer:
Liana Rosenberg
Music Company:
Walker
Executive Producer:
Sara Matarazzo
Executive Producer:
Stephanie Pigott
Music Coordinator:
Marissa Hernandez
End Card Company:
Digital Domain

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