There’s been a great deal of speculation around what direction a new marketing leader will take Bud Light.
It now appears we’ll find out soon.
From last Thursday’s Beer Marketer’s Insights (subscription required):
New Bud Light veep Andy Goeler recently talked to distribs about what he’s working on, including some quality spots that will debut later this mo. Certain key attributes will be emphasized on Bud Light work going forward, Andy emphasized: “fun, coed, aspirational, Hispanics and quality,” according to source.
ABI also plans to increase spending behind Bud Light by 10 percent this summer, BMI reported.
Focusing on the actual beer would be a departure from recent Bud Light marketing. That includes the recent “Bud Light Party” campaign, which, as reported by Advertising Age, was not popular with distributors. ABI ended the campaign last fall, and it has since been replaced by “Famous Among Friends.”
Bud Light’s humor- and celebrity-driven marketing approach has differed from that of Miller Lite. Miller Lite has focused on its status as the Original Light Beer, celebrated its taste and called out its carb and calorie count.
MillerCoors CMO David Kroll noted the distinction last fall at a distributor meeting. “What does all their [Bud Light’s] marketing have in common?” he said. “They never talk about their beer.”
Along the way, Bud Light sales have suffered. Bud Light shipments in 2016 were nearly 7 million barrels off the 2008 peak, BMI reported earlier this year. Bud Light case sales are down 5.6 percent year-to-date, according to Nielsen cross-channel data ending July 1. The decline accelerated to down 9.4 percent during the latest four-week period.
In March, ABI CEO Carlos Brito told analysts that “Bud Light performance is not yet up to our expectations.” In May Brito told analysts that he believes the “Famous Among Friends” campaign “has legs because it goes back to what made Bud Light the great brand that it is today” but added, “we’re still in a transition period.”
So now all eyes are on Goeler, a 37-year vet who led Bud Light during a great run in the 1990s (which included the “Real Men of Genius” campaign). Goeler’s appointment comes after a series of marketing leadership changes at ABI.
Goeler led the High End division of ABI before coming back to Bud Light. He’s expected to bring some lessons from that experience to Bud Light. As Beer Business Daily (subscription required) reported when he was tapped for the Bud Light job:
Andy said he’ll indeed bring High End learnings on consumer connections and premiumization to this new task. Those are “two huge things I learned from Goose and the other craft partners” he says, and “deepening connection to consumers, is one of the biggest opportunities [Bud Light] has.”
BBD also noted that Goeler said “Famous Among Friends” was a “fantastic area for Bud Light” that “makes a ton of sense.”
We’ll soon see if Goeler can become famous for getting Bud Light back on track.