- Budweiser last week debuted a specialized labeling for social sharing as part a massive promotional effort around the Super Bowl. The SelfieBud special edition label is printed backward so it appears normal in selfies on social media apps such as Instagram and Snapchat, per information shared with Mobile Marketer. Budweiser worked with agency Jones Knowles Ritchie to design the bottles.
- The beer brand unveiled the labeling while opening its BudX Hotel, a three-day experiential takeover of the Nautilus by Arlo hotel in Miami, where the Super Bowl took place. Budweiser invited more than 200 influencers from at least 20 countries to attend, such as skateboarder Atiba Jefferson, Indian rapper Divine, Brazilian director KondZilla and Russian DJ Karina Istomina, Adweek reported.
- Halsey, The Black Eyed Peas, De La Soul and Diplo performed concerts at the hotel takeover. Budweiser collaborated with Procter & Gamble's Gillette brand on a pop-up barbershop with celebrity stylists such as Rich Mendoza, Mark Marrero and Vince Garcia, Billboard reported.
Budweiser has been a mainstay Super Bowl advertiser for years, but reaching younger audiences requires an experiential marketing strategy to promote social sharing and viral publicity. By creating specialized labels for selfies, the beer brand supported its BudX Hotel takeover that featured influencers with significant followings on social media.
As Adweek reported, Budweiser only invited influencers with at least 1 million followers, describing them as the "Kings of Culture," a twist on its trademarked "The King of Beers" slogan. Influencer marketing strategies are forecast to become more popular, with brands spending as much as $15 billion on such campaigns by 2022, per Business Insider estimates based on data from influencer marketing agency Mediakix.
Hotel takeovers like the BudX Hotel are a budding area of experiential marketing aimed at younger audiences who seek original and authentic activities they can share on social media. Taco Bell last year created a resort pop-up called The Bell in Palm Springs, California, that sold out bookings in under two minutes. The Bell featured decked-out bedrooms, a pool with sauce packet floaties, a hair and nail salon offering styles inspired by the brand, a gift shop selling exclusive merchandise and branded activities such as yoga lessons and live concerts.
Hotel chains also are offering more experiences to differentiate their brands amid a growing threat from Airbnb. The home-sharing service's ad campaigns have included themes such as "live like a local" as an alternative to mass-produced tourism, The New York Times reported. Among recent experiential campaigns by hotel chains, Marriott's Aloft Hotels last year collaborated with British "GIF-ITI" street artist INSA on an interactive art experience for mobile users. Hilton also expanded its Tapestry Collection, a group of upscale, original hotels for guests seeking "vibrant and authentic experiences" to more locations.