Budweiser Sends Dudes on a Man Camp Excursion
Ah, Bud Camp. The two-month Canadian on-premise program that gave away the ultimate man-cation—a magical wilderness excursion where men could be men, beef could be consumed in mass quantities and for two thrilling days, dudes could do everything their wives and girlfriends wouldn’t let them do at home. More than 16,000 consumers signed up, 225 won free trips to the experience, and by the time the last beer was shotgunned, the brand was seeing huge boosts in preference and sales among its core target.
Bud kicked off the program with a two-month on-premise campaign that hit 40 top tier bars. Bud ambassadors turned the bar visits into mini events where target consumers could get involved in camp-themed activities like fastest tent-building challenges and other hijinks that involved being zipped up in a sleeping bag. TV, radio, online and print campaigns supported the promotions in market. Bud leveraged online portals like Facebook and heavy.com to seed early buzz for the event. Winners from each execution (on-premise, online and radio) attended the Bud Camp Event.
The first rule of Bud Camp, of course, is that you don’t talk about Bud Camp, but EM has the scoop. Winners were flown from all over the country to an undisclosed location in the Canadian mountains. (We still have no idea where the hell it was.) The all-expenses-paid weekend included accommodations in cozy-yet-masculine cabins, performances by live bands each night, gourmet meals filled with meat products (including a pig roast), white water rafting excursions, ATV tours, paintball games, MotoX shows, monster truck rides, inner tube bowling, plus beer gardens, loud music and fireworks. Oh yeah, and the Bud Girls were there. Doing what Bud Girls do.
Aidan Tracey, president of Toronto-based handling agency, Mosaic Experiential Marketing, says the program resonated so strongly with target consumers because of research aimed directly at 19-to-24-year-old (remember, it’s Canada) consumers. “We understood our consumer, we researched what they were looking for and we brought those insights to life,” Tracey says.
Partner heavy.com was on site for the event with a portable video recording booth to record and post consumers’ comments during the weekend. Two Bud video crews also captured the weekend’s events for air on Ontario TV stations and other websites. Many of this year’s winners have created online groups or pages of their own and have started blogging about their excitement for next year’s event.
“Sometimes the best measure is, are they doing it again, and the answer is yes,” says Tracey. “We’re making the program even bigger this year and expanding it to additional markets in Canada for the on-premise executions and we’re also incorporating a Bud Camp theme to a portion of our mobile program.”
Cheers to A-B for masterminding the must-attend playground for Canadian men and for filling it to the rim with activities guaranteed to become the stuff of stories and folklore (and word-of-mouth marketing) long after the event was over.