Bud Light Platinum Achieves Nearly 2 Share in Supermarkets


Dear Client:

"Bud Light Platinum is off to an amazing start." So writes Mike Sundet to distributors yesterday in a memo obtained by BBD. Mike is the senior director of Bud Light. He writes that the Bud Light Platinum Super Bowl ad gave a "tremendous boost in awareness, emerging as one of the most talked about brands in social media conversations around the broadcast."

In fact, BBD has learned through sources that Bud Light Platinum has achieved a 1.7 volume share in Symphony IRI supermarket scans for the week ending February 5. That's more than all Blue Moon flavors combined. In c-stores, it has achieved a 0.9 share.

I spoke with A-B cmo Paul Chibe yesterday evening, and he told me that anecdotally that "repeat buys look good", even on-premise. He adds: "I must compliment our marketing and sales teams.....they set the plan in motion to tease the brand with our New Years eve program.....and the awareness ads in the Super Bowl did their job."

When I asked him about product shortages reported by distributors, he said that they brewed "according to our original forecasts, which we have exceeded....It's a good problem to have." But that A-B will fix the problem "in no time."

Sundet noted: "Bud Light Platinum is currently outpacing initial forecasts, resulting in tight supplies across the country" but that "we continue to ship product as forecasted and are working to meet the considerable initial demand for Bud Light Platinum as quickly as possible." Look for more shortages, but A-B will ramp up production going into March and April.


You'll recall that it was speculated last year that President Obama's Office of Management and Budget will dismantle the TTB and fold it into the IRS and/or the FDA in order to get rid of a federal agency with redundant functions. Well, the TTB dodged a bullet. The agency is not in danger of being merged into the Internal Revenue Service or the Food & Drug Administration. In 2013, "TTB will continue to focus its efforts on enforcing compliance with alcohol... in the interest of collecting all appropriate excise taxes, and promoting a marketplace for alcohol beverages that complies fully with federal production, labeling, advertising, and marketing standards," according to a summary released by the Treasury. It will continue these functions with about a 3% reduction in budget, a reduction of about $3 million. Of course, this budget has slim chance of passing anyway. Also, the IRS may take on some enforcement duties of the TTB for criminal cases (but honestly, the TTB has been borrowing IRS agents for some time anyway, so not a big change).

BeerNet Extra: To see the TTB budget summary from the Treasury, click this link: http://tinyurl.com/7698hqj


Here's the scene: The former vp marketing at Anheuser-Busch sits down with the current vp marketing at A-B to interview him for an article in Forbes. Can you say awkward? Actually, writes former A-B marketing chief Keith Levy, "not at all. Just two guys chatting about a topic we're both passionate about. One just getting started, and the other watching, reflecting and cheering..."

(Incidentally, it was announced yesterday that Keith has been named General Manager of Royal Canin pet food company.)

PLATINUM ROCKING. Mostly they talked about the Super Bowl ads, but one thing that jumped out at me was current vp marketing Paul Chibe's characterization of Bud Light Platinum's recent performance. "Platinum is blowing away every forecast we came up with. It's done exactly what we wanted it to do," he said.

Regarding the Platinum Super Bowl spots, Paul said they pulled their weight, as the music in them resonated with guys in their 20s. "If you're an older, general market consumer you might not get it. But when you see the positive comments from consumers about the music and other things, we feel really good about it."

Regarding their work in general for the big game, Paul said that they had go guard against just being entertaining for the sake of being entertaining. "We're not just entertaining people. We're not a charity and we're not there to entertain people on our nickel." He also reiterated something we've been hearing a lot of lately from several different beer marketing camps: giving the consumer a little more respect and assuming more sophistication. "W hat we need to do is to always make sure that the consumer is never portrayed in a negative light. If you look at that [LMFAO] ad, the consumers in the bar were just regular guys and no one was portrayed in a negative light. If you think about 'Rescue Dog', the consumers were real people at a real party and it was a fun play on words where no one was portrayed negatively and always in a positive way.

So, how does Paul gauge success for Super Bowl ads? It would look like this: "We set out to create awareness, so did we create awareness? We set out to improve the perception of our brands so did we do that and move the needle? Those are the things we need to continue to look at as we evaluate our investment in the Super Bowl."


A-B TO INCREASE EXPAND CANNING FACILITY. A-B will invest about $70 to $80 million in its Metal Container Corporation facility in Missouri to increase production, reported CBS St. Louis. The expansion is scheduled to be completed in 2013 and will add about 100,000 square feet to the warehouse and production areas. The expansion was made possible by property tax abatement program from the City of Arnold and Jefferson County.

GLUNZ IMPORTS TO INTRODUCE AUSTRIAN BEER. Stiegle Grapefruit Radler, a lager with soda prepared with real grapefruit juice, will be imported by Glunz Imports, a division of distributor Louis Glunz Beer. At 116 calories, the lager has a 2.5 ABV and is similar to an English shandy. The Stiegl Radler is available on draft and in four-packs of 11.2 ounces with current distribution in Arkansas, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

MARK ANTHONY BRANDS is reportedly closing their Seattle office and hiring folks for a new Chicago office, according to several sources. Lots of job listings in Chicago for Mike's are listed at various websites.

Until tomorrow, Harry

"I do not believe in the word fate. It is the refuge of every self-confessed failure."
-Andrew Soutar

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