Bud Light Seltzer clears up misconceptions about its formula

Diving Summary:

  • Bud Light Seltzer has launched a new campaign, “100% Hard Seltzer, 0% Beer,” designed to dispel the misconception that the drink contains beer, the brand said in a press release.
  • As part of the effort, the brewer partnered with Rabble Games to create a tabletop card game called Misconceptions that challenges players to sort out facts from common misconceptions. A new TV commercial highlights the different appearance of mineral water compared to beer.
  • The new marketing push for the AB InBev brand is based on internal research showing that 54% of consumers believe Bud Light Seltzer contains beer. The campaign comes as the carbonated drinks category continues to experience sluggish growth as consumers gravitate toward other alcoholic offerings, such as ready-to-drink cocktails, or choose to eliminate alcoholic beverages altogether.

Diving information:

With its new campaign, Bud Light Seltzer is trying to stand out in a crowded category and put some distance between itself and the beer offerings that also carry the Bud Light moniker.

While leveraging the Bud Light name may have helped Bud Light Seltzer initially due to brand recognition, the move has caused some confusion among consumers as many believe the product contains beer, which it does not. “100% Hard Seltzer, 0% Beer” is intended to highlight the fruity flavor profile of mineral water, along with the distinctive carbonation of mineral water. the AB InBev Seltzer was launched in 2020 during the height of the Hard Seltzer craze.

The campaign attempts to tap into the ongoing discourse about distinguishing fact from fiction in a divided society by developing a board game that asks players to figure out what is a misconception and what is fact. The game is available for pre-order via AB by InBev Online store.

Board and tabletop games have seen their popularity grow in recent years, a trend that continued with consumers drinking more at home during the early stages of the pandemic. Sparkling mineral water brand White Claw similarly capitalized on the popularity of games with the launch last year of a mystery game in conjunction with Netflix that was themed after the “Knives Out” movies.

The emphasis on color is evident in a new 60-second spot, “truck driver Bubbles” to the rhythm of the song “Colors” by the Black Pumas. As a trucker carrying Bud Light Seltzer heads down a desert highway, the rear doors swing open, leaving a trail of colored bubbles in his wake. The bubbles serve as a stark contrast to the brown landscape, apparently in a nod to the traditional color of beer.

Sparkling mineral water experienced a spike in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the category reaching $48 billion in sales. However, the market soon became cluttered with too many options, a problem that sowed confusion for consumers and retailers alike. The oversaturation and slowdown in sales forced companies like AB InBev and Boston Beer to rethink their approaches.

Boston Beer announced last month that it planned to update its Truly brand to maintain consumer interest in strong mineral water while increasing its share of the “crowded category” of beverages. Among the changes, the alcohol maker said it planned to redesign Truly’s packaging to clearly communicate a more refreshing flavor profile with the addition of real fruit juice.

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James D. Brown
James D. Brown
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