- Budweiser debuted a new film and merchandise collection developed in partnership with Grammy-nominated singer and songwriter Halsey, per a press release.
- The film, called "Make Your Name — Be a King," follows Halsey's transformation into a musician and artist. She also released an original spoken word poem called "Becoming a King" and designed the apparel collection of T-shirts, sweatpants and sweatshirts. All proceeds from the merchandise sales will go to the National Alliance to End Homelessness.
- Budweiser's campaign with Halsey around themes of inspiration and ambition comes at a time when consumers have tired of pandemic-centric advertising and are looking for positive and entertaining content.
Budweiser's partnership with Halsey sees the brand using several tactics, including digital video and branded merchandise, to offer consumers an on-brand bit of positivity as the coronavirus pandemic continues to affect daily life. The film features Halsey seemingly reliving her pathway to stardom, transitioning from writing songs and sleeping on the subway to performing before a crowd of adoring fans.
The beer brand chose Halsey for this campaign in part because of her ambition to become a successful artist, a story which felt similar to that of Adolphus Busch, the German-born co-founder of Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser's global vice president Steve Arkley said in a statement. The collaboration began with Halsey's Super Bowl concert in Miami at the BUDX Hotel, the company noted.
A campaign featuring the positive themes of inspiration and ambition comes at a time when consumers have tired of pandemic-centric ads. Per a May survey from Mitto, less than half of consumers (41%) said they wanted to hear from brands about topics besides the coronavirus pandemic, a stat that's decreased as the health crisis has worn on over the months.
The apparel collection is AB InBev's latest such collaboration, which allows the brand to tap into culture and remain relevant with younger consumers. Pop artist Post Malone designed a similar collection for Bud Light in 2019. This summer, the brand partnered with fashion designer Darryl Brown of Midwest Kids to create a limited-edition unisex streetwear line inspired by summer, Midwestern childhoods and American culture.
By donating proceeds to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, Budweiser is among other brands drawing attention to homelessness, which Halsey endured as a teen. In September, Lay's potato chips featured the smiles of people facing homelessness, hunger, limited access to healthcare and other challenges on the bags of its potato chips. In January, before the COVID-19 pandemic forced millions of Americans into unemployment and potential evictions, Aerie sought new people for its campaign, but the candidates had to advocate for causes like bullying, environmentalism or homelessness.