Budweiser turned the Anheuser-Busch 2016 Wholesaler Sales & Marketing Communication Meeting (SAMCOM) on its head this year with a two-day “Bud World” activation, offering attendees a bolder, more immersive event platform that steered away from the standard conference model. In recognition of its most successful year in over a decade, the brand on Jan. 25 and 26 celebrated wholesalers’ achievements and shared upcoming marketing objectives with an informal, interactive approach to the annual meeting.
At the heart of Budweiser’s 50,000-square-foot Bud World space at the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center in Dallas were four immersion zones that brought to life the brand’s quarterly campaign goals for 2016. Each zone was anchored by a mobile unit and featured a towering beer display, new merchandise, branded giveaways and plenty of ice-cold Bud.
The Summer immersion zone teased some of the brand’s upcoming campaigns launching later this year. The double-decker trailer anchoring the space included a merchandise area featuring new branding, a temporary Bud bowtie tattoo station, an arcade with custom Budweiser games and a signature draught bar. Outdoor furniture, pop-up tents, American flags, branded bicycles and coolers gave the space a summer vibe.
Inside the Bud and Burgers zone, attendees could explore a food trailer that will make its way to approximately 90 events across the country this year. They could also get a taste of the fare the vehicle will offer, including the Budweiser Guacamole Burger and the Mexican Style Burger. Large retail beer displays with barbeques and coolers were also featured.
The Always On zone contained a large truck wrapped in new “My Other Car’s a Clydesdale” graphics. The space highlighted Budweiser’s partnerships with the NBA and MLB with a baseball cap display and a live chalk artist installation. Bartenders at three signature carts within the space showcased Bud’s new aluminum bottles while demonstrating the brand’s “perfect pour” technique.
The Holiday zone featured the famous Budweiser Clydesdales who could not walk on the convention center’s cement floor and instead navigated SAMCOM on a red carpet (seriously). The horses were integrated into the Holiday area via a photo opportunity featuring a backdrop of the Budweiser Brewery lit up for the holidays. The space was operated by brand ambassadors decked out in holiday sweaters, who presented attendees with gifts, including holiday-themed koozies and socks. The zone also included a cozy fireplace display and the Signature Draught pod, a mobile unit offering a premium tasting experience that will activate in local markets this year.
“For us, this meeting is all about inspiring our wholesaler partners to bleed Budweiser red,” says Courtney Dugan, senior brand manager at Budweiser. “The goal was really to transform people’s mental state away from the sleepy, boring, stadium seating presentations into something that really evoked a certain emotion and got them completely engrossed in what the brand stands for.” Agency: Sparks, New York City.