Anheuser-Busch Sends Millennials to Whatever, USA
Were Millennials #UpForWhatever? Anheuser-Busch took to the road to find out. The overall goal: create a summer experiential program to excite Bud Light’s 21-to 27-year-old target demographic, and connect with them as they see themselves, as social curators, storytellers, people who value experiences over things, and seekers of money-can’t-buy experiences that help build their own social capital. With that in mind, Anheuser-Busch created Whatever, USA, a contest that ultimately turned Crested Butte, CO, into the most awesome secret summer destination in history for 1,000 influential fans.
Beginning in early summer, a massive media, p.r. and digital/social effort launched with the message, “Bud Light is turning a real town into Whatever, USA, and you can come.” The brand took auditions into the marketplace, deploying on-premise audition teams across the country all summer long.
Beginning in July, a second wave of brand content was pushed out, teasing glimpses of how Whatever, USA, was coming to life. Alongside this media wave was a final push of 350 events across the country, called “Last Call For Whatever.”
The final phase was the Whatever, USA, weekend where, for three days and nights, Anheuser-Busch created a seemingly never-ending supply of simultaneous, participatory and entertaining experiences for the event’s 1,000 attendees and 5,000 local guests. Among the events: unscheduled “Stumble Upon” experiences (karaoke with L’il Jon, anyone), inflatable pool parties, bacon and beer tastings and marquee concerts. Digital, social and p.r. teams quickly curated the best and most widely shared content pieces and posts, then pushed them out to sustain conversations.
All told, more than 1.8 million consumers registered throughout the summer, with more than 200,000 video auditions pouring in. Website traffic increased by 212 percent over the previous year’s campaign, while user-generated social content included more than 37,000 content posts, reaching more than 15 million fans, followers and friends. Most important: Usage jumped 39 percent among Millennial drinkers. Booyah.