AB InBev / Budweiser
GoldBest Experiential Engagement
Budweiser wanted to build relevance among hockey-loving beer-drinkers in Western Canada, a cut-throat, declining market, where escalating competition was eroding Budweiser’s equity.
To win, the brand also needed to break through massive hockey sponsorship clutter, led by its #1 competitor and hockey’s premier beer sponsor in Canada.
The goal was to deepen Budweiser’s connection with Western Canadians and to strengthen lagging performance on hockey association, a critical sales driver.
Western Canadians are unapologetically proud of their regional heroes and accomplishments. When it comes to events on a national scale, Western Canadians are overlooked by big brands and rarely get to experience large-scale marketing programs built just for them.
Budweiser saw this as an opportunity to improve brand relevance in this region.
The strategy was to champion the region’s #1 local passion – hockey – through a powerful, never-been-done-before brand activation to help Western Canadians celebrate its local teams. Budweiser would create Canada’s first goal-synced-arena putting the thrill of local goal-scoring in fans’ hands.
Partnering with the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames, Budweiser provided thousands of fans with team-branded, red light goal-synced glasses.
The brand tapped into a powerful cultural moment - the singing of O Canada. Lights were dimmed, and thousands of RFID-triggered glasses flashed red when the lyrics were sung. Then it let the teams do what they do best: Score goals. With each glass synced to every home goal, the arena was soon lit-up in red by fans with Budweiser in hand.
Bud put Western fans in the spotlight, smartly leveraging the country’s biggest weekly sports broadcast, Hockey Night in Canada. The activation was amplified across Rogers’ properties, including branded footage in highlight reels during Sportsnet programming. It was also promoted local radio celebrities, who let Westerners know that red light glasses were available in-case.
The program was the most complex live-integration in Hockey Night in Canada’s history, and the first live stunt opening of its kind. It even collaborated with Hockey-Night-in-Canada producers to have sports legend Don Cherry introduce the red light activation during Coach’s Corner, where he raised a Budweiser red-light Glass to millions of viewers.This brand experience deepened Western Canadians connection to Budweiser.
It boosted brand relevance in Western Canada by 10.4%. Organic social mentions related to the Canucks were 49% higher on Twitter and 67% higher on Instagram versus a typical season game. Hashtags #LightUpVancouver and #LightUpCalgary generated 30MM organic impressions, garnering extensive media and PR coverage and driving positive sentiment.
Brand: AB InBev/Budweiser/Labatt Brewing Company Ltd
Media: UM Canada Jared Aldridge, Manager, Connection Planning Graham Walmsley, Supervisor, Connection Planning Amanda Silva, Supervisor, Investment
Executive CD: Pete Breton
Executive CD: Dave Douglas
Designer: Andy Slater
Account Director: Matt Holton
Director of Communications Strategy: Paul Lipson
Account Supervisor: Thomas Gaylor
Social Manager: Chris Campaner
VP Marketing: Kyle Norrington
Brand Director: Andrew Oosterhuis
Senior Brand Manage:r Candy Lee
Brand Manager; John Patrito
Trade Activation Manager: Lindsay Olimer
Experiential: Mosaic Canada
Public Relations: Veritas Communications
Technology Partner: Buzz Products