ENGINE SHOP, New York / ABINBEV / 2021
Gaming and esports have continued to over-index as a primary passion point for Bud Light's 25 - 34 year old male audience and the brand was continuing to deepen its presence in the vertical. With esports team, league and streamer partnerships, Bud Light was beginning to cement its place as the self-proclaimed “Official Beer of Gaming,” however, those efforts were not raising purchase intent and brand preference in significant ways.
We were challenged with raising purchase intent and brand preference with LDA beer-drinking gamers in the target segment with an earned media effort that would reach this audience.
The target audience we were aiming to reach was the 25-34 year old legal drinking age (LDA) male who liked to play console video games. This audience has become very difficult to reach with traditional marketing. Gaming is their number one passion point and they are more likely to watch other people play video games on the Twitch platform than watch traditional sports on ESPN. To complicate the issue, they are heavy users of ad blocking technology. The brand needed to utilize new channels to elevate the brand in the gaming industry and create drinking occasions where none existed.
Creating the Bud Light “BL6” as an unexpected and fully functioning console allowed the brand to be fully expressive of its love of gaming and LDA gamers, while being true to the brand with its slapdash inner construction and integrated powered beer koozies that linked beer consumption to the gaming experience.
Creating the BL6 required rapid 3D printing prototyping for the key elements to understand scale as we wanted to fit the key components in a 6-pack shaped housing. Components included a wireless projector, a tablet PC, fans and insulation, wireless controller slots and custom fabricated koozie slots (powered) – all in effort to create a fully wireless solution and the worlds first-ever self-powered 6-pack beer koozie.
The exterior construction is a sanded 3D printed molded plastic that allowed us to feature the Bud Light blue with a custom-designed exterior wrap to reflect the brand ID and give visceral reference to the fact that the console is also a beer koozie.
The final construction is 1.7x scale of a carry 6-pack. The packaging was inspired by major retail console launch packaging to create a true object of desire for livestream unboxings of the device.
The BL6 did indeed hijack the console wars as we chose not to employ any teaser elements. We launched the campaign with targeted media exclusives and livestream events, employing the spirit of an exclusive surprise product drop popular with the target segment.
The US campaign expanded to Bud Light Canada, eclipsing all goals with 186M impressions (goal 75M), 241 placements (goal 100) and most importantly raising purchase intent amongst the target audience by 12% and raising Bud Light 9% in top 3 favorite beers for LDA beer drinking gamers.
The BL6 website (https://www.budlight.com/bl6) and an unboxing livestream expanded on the virtues of the BL6 and the spirit of the brand with a “We Didn’t Think it Would Work Either” attitude. We made one BL6 available to the public with a 100% charitable auction on the brand’s ShopBeerGear.com website, selling the console for $24,000 USD ($5,000 USD goal).