Bud Camp in Canadian Wilderness is a Winner with Guys
Bud Camp, the program that mixes manly exploits with measurable success, flies male consumers deep into the Canadian wilderness to enjoy an all-expenses-paid, no ladies allowed weekend chock full of testosterone-filled activities like pig roasts, white-water rafting, paintball games and monster truck rides, plus live music, fireworks, 40 Bud Girls and all the Budweiser they can drink. At first glance, Bud Camp looks like the biggest branded frat party in Canada. But the weekend in the woods is merely the anchor of one of the most strategically sound integrated spirits promotions in the industry.
Here’s how it goes down: Ten weeks before the Bud Camp weekend, the brand rolls out an on-premise campaign that turns each stop into a main event. The brand chats up the events on Facebook then sends three Bud Camp girls and one male camp counselor to each spot armed with tents, life jackets and paddles. The team samples Bud and qualifies guys to win tickets through participatory camp-themed challenges. One lucky player each night wins his place at Bud Camp.
In addition to making relevant connections with consumers, the on-premise activities help key accounts legitimize their positions as the local market young adult party bar. It also allows sales teams to get excited about Budweiser for the summer promotion window, which is a key selling season.
“From a retail perspective, whenever you can drive more traffic or better the retail space or environment, it’s a big win,” says Ben Seaton, Associate Brand Manager at Budweiser. “You’re satisfying your customer’s needs from an on-premise perspective. The value in the program you bring that will bring people through those doors is what makes them ecstatic.”
And the program continues to be on a roll. In 2008, Bud Camp doubled its footprint from 40 regional bars in 2007 to 82 bars. Forty more winners attended Bud Camp in 2008 than 2007, and in 2009 the brand purchased the 62-year-old branded bus featured in its TV ads, which it drove to many of its on-premise stops. This year’s program also expanded into Western Canada and partnered with the Budweiser Big Rig, a 15-week community event mobile program used to engage young adults at Canada’s biggest summer events like Calgary Stampede, NASCAR and Toronto Festival of Beer.
The result last year was a seven to 12 percent lift in overall purchases during the busy summer beer sales blitz and more momentum for a proprietary program that—as long as boys will be boys—is here to stay.