- Budweiser aims to raise awareness for COVID-19 vaccines by offering free beer to people who get vaccinated. The first 10,000 people who respond to its "Reunite with Buds" giveaway will receive a $5 virtual debit card after uploading proof that they received the vaccine, such as a selfie showing their vaccination sticker to its ABeerOnBud.com microsite, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive.
- Budweiser is bringing back a new version of its "Reunited with Buds" commercial showing its iconic Clydesdales and a puppy running toward each other along a country road. The AB InBev brand first ran the spot last year to remind people to meet safely as bars began to reopen from lockdowns. The spot will run on national TV on April 26, though viewers can now see it on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
- The ABeerOnBud.com site asks people to join or log in to Anheuser-Busch's My Cooler loyalty program, which lets members earn points that can be redeemed for merchandise. The promotion ends on May 16 or when all prizes have been rewarded. The giveaway is part of Budweiser's efforts around vaccine awareness that the brand kicked off in the lead-up to the Super Bowl.
Budweiser's offer of free beer to people who can show they have received the vaccine is the brand's latest effort to support awareness and education about measures to help protect public health. The effort started when Budweiser announced it wouldn't run an ad during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years, and would instead redirect the ad spend to public health messaging throughout the year. The brand partnered with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative's COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative as part of the effort.
"Reunite with Buds" is another sign that the brand remains committed to its pledge to support vaccine awareness. Budweiser this month celebrated National Beer Day with a vaccination public service announcement (PSA) titled "Good Times Are Coming" in collaboration with the Anheuser-Busch Foundation and the Ad Council. The spot looked to remind people of the fun they had getting together with friends, and to visit the GetVaccineAnswers.org website to learn more about COVID-19 vaccines.
More than half of adults in the U.S. have received at least one dosage of the vaccine, or about 130 million people, while 33% are considered fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. However, 25% of people said they don't want the vaccine, according to a survey by NPR and Marist, a finding that worries some researchers who say reluctance to get vaccinated may hamper efforts to end the pandemic.
Budweiser is among the brands that are giving away free products to incentivize people to get vaccinated. Rival beer brand Samuel Adams this month began offering free beer to the first 10,000 people who responded to its #ShotForSam program, and released a national TV spot titled "Your Cousin From Boston Gets Vaccinated." Krispy Kreme last month began offering free doughnuts to customers who could prove they had received a shot by showing a valid vaccination card. Rewards app Drop is similarly offering points to redeem for gift cards to people who showed they had been vaccinated by posting a picture on Instagram with the #DropCOVID hashtag. These efforts signal how brands are willing to put their marketing muscle into messaging that aims to support public health.