Budweiser ties with Rihanna for first global music strategy

Budweiser has signed singer Rihanna to front its first global music marketing campaign as it accelerates efforts to become a worldwide brand.

The “Umbrella” singer will front the brand’s “Made For Music” campaign alongside rapper Jay-Z in more than 85 countries.

Both stars will appear in two TV ads called “Dreams Are Made” that will feature the couple’s latest single “Right Now”. Outdoor, print, on-pack and online ads will support the push alongside sponsorships of Rihanna’s and Jay-Z’s concerts later this year. Additionally, the brewer will post behind-the-scenes content from the making of its TV ads on its YouTube channel, while partnering with Facebook and Vice to create exclusive content for fans.

Budweiser has used music in past campaigns, however the latest effort is the first time it has launched a umbrella strategy around music. AB Inbev hopes the approach will help broaden its appeal as it looks to turn the American beer into a global powerhouse on the scale of Coca-Cola.

Camilo Durana, global director for Budweiser sports and entertainment, says: “Music truly is a universal language and Budweiser is proud to work with and support the great artists who inspire millions of people across the globe with their talent, dedication, and drive to achieve their dreams.”

The star-studded campaign is inspired by Budweiser’s tie-up with Jay-z’s “Made in America” music festival last year.

It is hoped the move will help give Budweiser a more unisex positioning across all its markets as the brewer steps up efforts to broaden its appeal.  Campaigns featuring Rihanna have a higher probability of engaging women worldwide than they do men, according to Repucom’s DBI Celebrity Index. The singer has 90.4 per cent “Awareness” level among females worldwide compared to 75.5 per cent for males. She also scores higher with women in the “Appeal” 65 per cent and “Aspiration” (63.9 per cent) metrics.

Rihanna, also has deals with River Island, cocunut water brand Vita Coco and Barbados Tourism.

Budweiser’s announcement comes just months after AB Inbev slashed its marketing budget for the year following poor volume sales in its key markets. Despite the performance, Volumes for its global beers Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s grew 4.7 per cent, helping lift revenue by 1.5 per cent for the quarter. The brewer said it would continue to invest in all three to drive growth throughout the rest of 2013.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Jay Z involvement yes. He is iconic. Rihanna no. Shes gone out of my favour quite a bit with recent claims in relation to her raunchy behaviour that she doesnt intend/want to influence young people. She seems mixed up and confused and that shouldnt be conveyed onto the Bud brand. I appreciate their move into a contemporary light, but all in honesty it was the old campaigns like the Bud Frogs that made this brand strong. And that innovation should be brought out again, not following suit with current music trends.

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  • For me the choice of two of the biggest stars in the world right now is a bold, positive move by a brand that has a natural music legacy, and one that has the potential to relaunch Budweiser in new music communities. However the proof of the success of these partnerships will not be the artists' presence in passive advertising but how the relationships are translated into deep and memorable consumer engagements with the target communities. Get this right via the tour partnership and other direct artist engagement and the results will follow.

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