Cannes Lions

Save a Tree, Pee in a Busch

THE MARTIN AGENCY, Richmond / AB INBEV / 2022

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Busch Light is a crushable cult favorite looking to strengthen its iron grip on Midwestern beer drinkers while expanding into key growth markets. And tapping into key passion points that both groups share to create buzz and drive relevance is at the core of Busch’s growth strategy. This brief specifically targeted those with an affinity for the “rugged outdoors,” getting current drinkers to engage with the brand and driving awareness through social and PR that will inevitably reach new drinkers with a penchant for adventure.

Idea

Every Busch Light drinker knows that beer is best enjoyed in the great outdoors. But when nature eventually calls? Trees become the number one target. And that’s a problem. Because too much pee can hurt trees. That’s why this Earth Month, Busch Light urged drinkers to protect the environment by peeing into their empty Busch cans (with a little help from a new product). Each “Pee in a Busch” kit contained a gender-neutral funnel and reusable can caps, offering an environmentally friendly way for fans to pack out ALL of their waste. With proceeds going directly to One Tree Planted, a non-profit organization focused on global reforestation, the campaign successfully planted over five thousand new trees and succeeded in keeping the great outdoors great.

Strategy

To better understand hardcore outdoorspeople, we dug into social listening and conducted a series of in-depth interviews. We discovered that what defines them is an appreciation for the not-so-pleasant parts of getting outdoors (like going outdoors). These dirty details aren’t a pain-point; they’re a point of pride. But since the pandemic, the subject of human waste is more prevalent than ever — as more people spent time outside, they overloaded national parks with human waste that put the park's delicate ecosystems at risk. We saw this as an incredible opportunity — not only to bring attention to a pressing issue, but to position Busch Light as the solution to a problem it often helps create: going in the great outdoors.

Execution

We launched “Save a Tree, Pee in a Busch” on the first day of Earth Month, April Fools’ Day. On a day where brands famously announce fake solutions to fake problems, we launched a Pee-SA on Busch Light’s social channels educating people about a very real problem. Interested parties were encouraged to visit busch.com/peeinabusch, where they could purchase bespoke “Pee In A Busch Kits” complete with gender neutral funnels and matching can caps. When April 2 rolled around, we doubled down on the issue through earned media outreach, creating a second wave of press pickup around our serious intentions to solve this serious issue. The program culminated in a social giveaway, where we gave free “Pee in a Busch” kits to those dedicated to the cause, generating a wave of social engagement and conversation around the campaign.

Outcome

Despite having zero paid media support, “Pee in a Busch” still managed to exceed all expectations. The campaign totalled 29M impressions in earned coverage, receiving 89 stories across consumer and industry publications like Outside, CNET, FoodBeast and Adweek in the U.S. and, surprisingly, specialist publications in Italy, Japan and Korea. Social conversation lit up, generating a total of 25K mentions, 657K potential impressions for the campaign and a staggering share rate of 3.56% (2000x the brand’s historical campaign average). All in all, the funnel kits sold out in less than a week. More importantly, we raised awareness for a problem near and dear to rugged outdoorspeople’s hearts, positioned Busch Light as a solution and helped plant 5,000 trees in the places they care about most.

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