Bring It on Bud Light


This article was originally featured in The Drum on January 23, 2018. Written by Peter Madden.

Unless you’ve been in Narnia, you surely know that the Super Bowl is around the corner, with a rematch of the 2004 season edition featuring the New England Patriots and Philadelphia Eagles. As AgileCat has lived in the heart of Philly for 17 years, you can bet that this agency – along with the many millions in the region – is completely on fire at the thought of finally winning a Super Bowl [#FlyEaglesFly! – The Drum Americas editor].

Back in August during training camp, the Eagles Lane Johnson essentially became the best friend of everyone in this sports-crazy town by promising free beer to everyone if the Eagles won the Super Bowl. Fast forward to today, and Bud Light intends on making this promise come true [Philly fans and free beer? What could go wrong? – The Drum Americas editor].

I couldn’t think of a more promotional perfect storm than Bud Light doing this, and whatever the cost is to fulfill this sudsy fantasy, they’ll surely benefit 10x fold with impressions and awareness – if they play their cards right.

So confident am I that Bud Light should reconsider making that sizeable investment in Super Bowl spots and throw those greenbacks at Philadelphia (after they win, of course).

The key to doing it right? It starts with the letter P. As in Parade. And as in Philly Philly. An Eagles victory would result in the most significant sports celebration in any city in the history of sports.

Early estimations are that over two million people would attend such a parade (trust me, the crowd size wouldn’t be dented by cold weather or snow). The Eagles were formed in 1933 and through they won a “Championship” in 1960, it wasn’t a Super Bowl. And if these Birds fly high against the Pats, the town will be bedlam for days. Bud Light needs to seize that and not let go during the celebration. “Philly Philly Day” should be the battle cry – a nice takeoff from their ultra-popular Dilly Dilly campaign.

Bud Light should spend whatever it takes to own this town the day of the parade – and don’t be shy about promoting the hell out of it from the closing seconds of the Super Bowl up to the celebration through an aggressive media buy across traditional and digital – not to mention street teams. This promotion needs to live as aggressively online as in the streets of the 215 (the city’s legacy area code). That would be at least 48 hours of delicious promotional opportunities where they can beat the Bud Light drum until the stick breaks.

And the day of the parade? Let it loose! Signage on the trailers, banners down Broad Street, cardboard dog mask signs reflecting the underdog status the Eagles and their fans have embraced, hell – get a big-name band to play at Lincoln Financial Field, the home of the Birds, at what they can call the Bud Light Philly Philly Victory parade.

Also, they need to enjoin the many, many bars from Northern Liberties to South Philly as what I’ll kindly call distribution divisions to hand out Bud Light like it’s free – because it is! Cocktail napkins, signage for bars, the works. Leverage social media through Philly Philly Snapchat filters (how about the “king’s crown” that appears on your head with a Bud Light in one hand and a scepter in another as one example?). Set fire to Instagram and Facebook.

Also, because I can’t recall another major beer brand giving away beer to this extent, Bud Light should create a digital ‘counter’ which can live on digital billboards along interstates 95 and 76 where anyone can see how many beers Bud Light has given away on Philly Philly Day. Enjoin the Guinness Book of Records and carve the Bud Light name in history for the most beer given away/drank in a single day.

But where there are rewards comes risk. And the last thing Bud Light needs is an accident or altercation that could tie to their brand and over-imbibing. But I’ve always been an ad guy who sees opportunities amidst the challenges. To that end, Bud Light also needs to be a ‘King of Responsibility’ on this day of days. They could strike a deal with Uber and Lyft to ensure safe travel from the city, courtesy of the Philly Philly discount available to all who punch in the appropriate code. Any ad naturally would be accompanied by the “Enjoy Bud Light Responsibly” tag. They also should get SEPTA (Philadelphia’s mass transit authority) involved via free train and bus rides around the city and from the suburbs into Philadelphia.

Public relations is a natural vehicle on Philly Philly Day and the opportunities for global press across digital, TV, radio, and print would be as easy as a 10-yard field goal by Eagles kicker Jake Elliott. Ensure that the world hears of Bud Light’s largesse and a day like no other in Philadelphia.

Ultimately make sure that every Philadelphian is aware of Bud Light’s generosity – and most importantly, their brand! Their name may just live in infamy (almost) as strongly as our beloved Eagles. And hey Bud Light, if you’re looking for the group to make this happen? Give me a ring.