LOVE BEER. My favorite brand is by far Anheuser-Busch's top selling brand -- Budweiser. Or do I love beer? I just saw two lizards on channel forty-two tell me that Budweiser is what I crave. Anheuser-Busch has to continuously expand sales so that the corporation meets both Wall Street's and the Anheuser-Busch shareholder's 'expectations' for continued corporate profits. Well, they are not actually expectations at all -- no they are 'demands' for continued corporate profits. Therefore, it is crucial to Anheuser-Busch to convince me and the billions of beer lovers worldwide that not only do we love beer, but that we love Budweiser or one of the many Anheuser-Busch products.
It is sad to say that advertising to minors is often a part of those public relations marketing campaign. "Youth has its hazards. Cautioning adolescents about product dangers is a unique challenge for advertisers and policy makers. Given the current controversy surrounding the advertising and sale of tobacco and alcohol products to adolescents, it is important to understand how that audience attends to advertising for such products and associated cautionary statements. We report findings from an extensive eye tracking study conducted among adolescents that involved print ads and associated warning statements for tobacco and alcohol products." (Fox) So, similar to the 'Joe Camel' marketing tricks perpetrated by the tobacco industry, the alcoholic beverage companies also do their best to attract the adolescent dollar. "The teenage market in the United States is extremely lucrative. Teens are fashion and status conscious, and spend large amounts of money on clothing and entertainment. In addition to influencing household purchases, teenagers spend at least $95 billion a year 1961. Projections indicate that by 2010 the teenage population will have grown to approximately 31 million, exceeding their number in any of the baby boom years of the 1960s. The fact that many brand loyalties begin during adolescence and last through adulthood makes the group even more important to marketers (Fox).
Budweiser is a quality product -- at least that is what we are told. "At Anheuser-Busch, quality is more than a goal...it is a way of life. Quality doesn't just happen. In the end, quality comes from having the human, technological and financial resources to invest in it each and every business day. An unwavering commitment to quality is at the heart of how Anheuser-Busch has done business since 1852. Then, as now, it is the key to our success and will continue to be in the future." (Anheuser-Busch Companies) Wow, let me pop the top of a twelve ounce can of Budweiser while I reflect on the dirty details of the alcoholic beverage industry's Public Relations Marketing Campaigns. Man, I think they're right, I DO LOVE BEER - I think.
Like most companies that have a product to sell, historically, Anheuser-Busch has always been an organization that has had to advertise heavily. In the 1840's, two mighty beer men toiled and eventually created the powerful and respected Anheuser-Busch brewery. "Eberhard Anheuser had brought out a Bavarian Brewery and with that the stage was set for the entrance of the principal actor in the great drama of beer." (Holland, Gerald) His son-in-law, "Adolphus Busch came to St. Louis equipped with a sound training at the Gymnasium in Mainz. He was the youngest of twenty-one children begotten by Ulrick and Barbara Busch. His arrival was inconspicuous, but he soon made his presence felt." (Holland, Gerald) But from the beginning, competition in the brewing industry has been fierce and at many times violent.
Because in the 1850's large kegs were the only way to get beer products to the numerous saloons for sale, Anheuser-Busch used to have to pay bribes in the forms marketing for their kegs to be accepted as opposed to the competition's brands. To get into new neighborhoods, large-scale advertising had to be conducted in order to win over the locals - and as stated, marketing included payoffs as needed.
Bottling was both a solutions for keg and product delivery as it was an opportunity to expand revenues. Budweiser was not the first bottled beer in the world but it was the first bottled beer that was intended for shipping. "Returning to America, he had the Busch brewery make the beer for him and called it Budweiser after the town of Budweis, where he had discovered. He bottled the new drink in his own small shop." (Holland, Gerald)
In 1855, Budweiser was the best-bottled beer in the country. "While his rivals in St. Louis were struggling with wagon-load orders, he coolly turned his back on the local market, invested deeply in a wardrobe, and set out as a traveling ambassador of beer. He scoured the name, and eventually the world, everywhere preaching the gospel of Budweiser. His work was done magnificently. In a few years, the aid of the United States was predominantly in the hands of Anheuser-Busch." (Holland, Gerald)
Budweiser became the brewery's main product so the company was able to reduce the number of beers from sixteen brands to four -- Michelob, Faust, Budweiser, and the standard pale beer. "Michelob was perhaps the best beer ever made in America and the most expensive; it sold for twenty-five cents a glass. Like Budweiser, it originated in Bohemia, but in this case it was Adolphus himself who found it." (Holland, Gerald)
Today the Anheuser-Busch common stock continues to do well as sales of Budweiser and the other products saturate or economy. As evidenced by the 1983 to Present chart, the public has been convinced that it really does love beer - especially Budweiser.
Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc. is the holding company parent of Anheuser-Busch, Incorporated (ABI). The Company is also the Parent Corporation to a number of subsidiaries. Their operations consist of domestic beer, international beer, packaging, entertainment and other operations like theme parks, real-estate manufacturing, transportation and recycling. The domestic beer segments is comprised of all United States beer manufacturing and wholesale operations while the international beer segment consists of the Company's export sales and overseas beer production and marketing operations.
Financially, Anheuser-Busch is extremely solvent entity. "For the three months ended 3/31/03, net sales rose 5% to $3.28 billion. Net income rose 6% to $484.8 million. Revenues reflect growth in both domestic and international beer sales. Earnings reflect lower brewing material and energy costs, reduced aluminum prices and improved operating margin." (Yahoo Finance)
According to Anheuser-Busch's web site, Anheuser-Busch feels that their public relations marketing premise is a sum of the elements of all of their products and how the public response to each product. They forecast how a concept would succeed by examining their previous product's themes not as a whole of each product but by smaller elements of each product. Those elements consist of knowing the specific effects that each element will have in directing a concept and then building the public relations campaign around the results. They ask questions like does this campaign have the element of emotional strength? By emotional strength they refer to the emotion as a sense of understanding and feeling of the target audience. Emotion is a way of securing the media placements, shaping decision making; generating product awareness, building audience interest, increasing audience response and getting the target audience into thinking that the message was geared specifically for them. This element approach has been extremely successful for Anheuser-Busch.
Public relations marketing campaign should also demonstrate a sound message that the target audience can relate to. The message should be a step above the ordinary and still answer the basic public relations questions of who, what, when and where. The key however, is that the marketing campaign fulfills the 'what action is needed' for the target audience. If one was to view past Budweiser commercials for example, one consistent theme is present -- Anheuser-Busch wants the target audience to do - buy Budweiser. Recently though, Anheuser-Busch's new approach has been to sprinkle in public service announcements to show the community that issues like drunk driving, adolescent consumption and birth defects are on the minds of the executives and that they care. They have gone away from the saturation approach of buy our product. Another successful approach for Anheuser-Busch has always been to use brand-naming tactics that affect the likelihood of corporate ad knowledge. Corporate branding, corporate ad knowledge and brand knowledge is sometimes retained as a single knowledge base. Therefore, corporate ad knowledge influences the brand. Joint branding a corporate name is similar to the brand name.
In 1999, Anheuser-Busch received the Outdoor Advertising Association of America (OAAA) OBIE Hall of Fame Award for Budweiser, in recognition of more than 100 years of outstanding and innovative outdoor advertising work. "Budweiser is a prime example of the power of outdoor to brand," said Diane Cimine, OAAA executive vice president and chief marketing officer. "As long as there has been Budweiser, there has been fresh and compelling Budweiser outdoor imagery. I think that says it all." (Anheuser-Busch Companies) From its introduction in 1876, Budweiser used…