Schneider Associates, Mintel and IRI are eagerly awaiting the results of the 2008 Most Memorable New Product Launch (MMNPL) survey. To kick things off, here is the first of five preview videos of this year’s potential MMNPL finalists.
By Ryan Stredney
PR Specialist – Data & Insights
Information Resources, Inc.
The time has arrived for Anheuser-Busch’s first foray into ale brewing, the straight-up American Amber style of Budweiser American Ale. Scheduled to be released this week on draught in select markets nationwide and in bottles at the end of the month, Bud American Ale was created by A-B brewmasters to deliver a rich, amber color and a hoppy, citrus-hinted aroma that’s full-bodied, but not too heavy or bitter. Remarked as a pleasant balance of robust flavor and well-rounded taste, Bud American Ale serves as an alternative offshoot to the flagship Budweiser signature lagers.
The American Ale was a beer concept A-B originally kicked around back in 1997 in response to the success of Sam Adams Boston Lager. Considering that crafts are once again gaining momentum as the traditional Bud juggernauts look for an fresh and innovative niche to propel them off the static domestic brew sales plateau, A-B is now poised to launch the ale mainstream, especially in response to the proposed Miller offerings of late, a trio of craft-style light beers that were selectively tested over the summer months before being pulled back after initial interest peaked and faded. Rolling out an “American Ale” would also seem to be a natural branding tie-in with A-B’s recent efforts to leverage the craftsmanship and national heritage of the Bud label.
“Budweiser American Ale has the full-bodied taste profile of the amber ale style, yet is remarkably smooth and balanced,” says Eric Beck, brewmaster for Budweiser American Ale. “It’s an ale that’s distinctly American in character, and the result is a beer both traditional lager and craft beer drinkers can enjoy.”
The gist of the last sentiment may be what makes or breaks this latest offering for A-B. With only a handful of reviews currently out on Bud American Ale posted by those privileged enough to have sampled it, the notes are pretty consistent: A pretty decent ale all around, pleasant aroma, tasty and does the trick.
The American Ale is definitely a bold step for the manufacturer to take with their iconic flagship label, and A-B’s enormous distribution efforts will surely lead to tremendous initial success. Its set be supported in the marketplace by a substantial targeted media plan consisting of television, print, outdoor and Internet, along with exclusive sampling events and on-premise merchandising. Will Budweiser’s claim that Bud American Ale is “more than a new taste… it’s a whole new tradition” hold up? Only time will tell…
Additional Information can be found at: www.budweiseramericanale.com
By Michael Shea
Last year, Miller Brewing Co introduced Miller Chill, which was not quite a top 10 Most Memorable product for 2007, but will the new Bud Light Lime have what it takes to achieve Most Memorable status in 2008?
Anheuser-Busch Cos. launched the new beverage in May, hoping for a successful summer 2008. Along with Miller Chill, BL Lime will look to compete with Corona, which is one of the more popular summer beers, and the best selling imported beer in the US. Budweiser has not positioned itself as an “outdoor beer” before; BL Lime is an obvious answer to this product void.
The Bud Light Lime Web site says, “Whether you are out in the hot sun, throwing a backyard bash or just in the mood for a change of pace, Bud Light Lime is sure to quench your thirst for something fresh, something new, something different. One sip and you’ll find the summer state of mind. It’s in ‘The Lime.’” This quotation makes it clear what they are trying to do with the new product launch.
To launch the new product, Anheuser-Busch Company did not stray from its traditional advertising schemes, as they promoted the beverage through a $35 million campaign that uses television, print and online media outlets. The Web site, www.budlightlime.com, features videos, ringtone downloads and the catchy slogan, “Summer. Not just a season but a taste.” Despite being a cliché summer tagline, the slogan works, as it directly pinpoints the idea of Bud Light Lime.
After reading several blogs comparing Bud Light Lime and Miller Chill, I came across an interesting poll, which asked readers to choose between BL Lime, Miller Chill, Corona with a lime, or none of them – the results had BL Lime winning at 56% (578 out of the 1030 total votes). The rest of the votes were Corona at 21%, Miller Chill with 13%, and None with 9%. If this poll can turn into sales for Anheuser-Busch, it will be a very special summer for the nation’s leading beer brewing co.
So, will Bud Light Lime be more memorable than Miller Chill? Will Corona maintain its top spot in the summer beer market?