MillerCoors Behind the Beer

Is Bud Light calling on Lady Gaga again?

Is Bud Light preparing to ramp up its Lady Gaga partnership with LGBT-themed packaging?

Parent company Anheuser-Busch received TTB approval in late March for rainbow-colored Bud Light labels that read “Lady Gaga Bud Light,” with the letters L, G, B and T highlighted.

Though it’s not clear how the packaging would be used, it could potentially be featured in LGBT-focused bars, pride parades and other events. In the past year Anheuser-Busch has featured other alliances, including NBA and NFL teams, on Bud Light cans.

In October, Bud Light announced a partnership with Lady Gaga that included four TV spots and a promotional roadshow called the “Bud Light x Lady Gaga Dive Bar Tour.”

Celebrity strategy

That alliance came on the heels of another Bud Light celebrity collaboration — the politically themed “Bud Light Party” campaign starring Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer.

Advertising Age stated at the time: “The celebrity strategy contrasts with the approach taken by rival Miller Lite, whose recent product-focused ads have played up the brand’s heritage and liquid credentials.”

The Bud Light Party campaign came to an end a few weeks later.

Though the campaign gained a lot of attention, it didn’t translate into sales. Bud Light declined 4 percent in 2016, and has been down 15 percent over the past eight years, Beer Marketer’s Insights reported.

Priority No. 1

ABI CEO João Castro Neves told distributors at a recent sales meeting that Bud Light was ABI’s “No. 1 concern,” according to Beer Marketer’s Insights.

Anheuser-Busch announced last month that Andy Goeler will take over as VP for Bud Light. Goeler most recently led the company’s “High End” division, which focuses on craft and imports.

Goeler previously ran Bud Light from 1990-2000, when the brand experienced double-digit gains most years, Beer Marketer’s Insights said.

Since his appointment there has been widespread industry speculation as to whether he will change the direction of Bud Light marketing.

From Beer Business Daily:

“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.'”