- Busch launched a limited edition of its beer as "Busch Latte," the brand shared with Marketing Dive. Despite the "Busch Latte" label, the cans contain Busch Light beer.
- The label is accompanied by a mock commercial and jingle that satirizes coffee commercials from the '80s and '90s, complete with a moment to savor the rich aroma of the beer. The brand says that Busch Latte is an "affectionate nickname" given to the brew by Busch Light fans.
- The specially marked cans are available in select stores in Missouri, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska and Kansas. To correspond with the regional availability, a new tagline reads, "Brewed for America's Heartland."
Busch's latest campaign uses several tactics that are popular with marketers, such as '80s and '90s nostalgia, parodies and limited-edition packaging. As a well-known beer, Busch's marketing goals aren't centered around boosting brand recognition, but around ways to deepen connections to its fans. Beer drinking's decline is a key driver of this strategy. In a 2017 study by the Beer Institute, alcohol drinkers selected beer 49.7% of the time in 2017, compared to 60.8% in the mid-1990s.
This newest campaign extends a similar effort by Busch from last summer. In five U.S. cities, the beer brand promoted itself as a cold "latte" option, building on what it said was the frequent use of a #BuschLatte hashtag by its fans and poking fun at Starbuck's Pumpkin Spice Latte seasonal beverage. Accompanying that campaign, which similarly described the brand's beer as a latte, was specially branded #BuschLatte merchandise.
This time around, the "Busch Latte" cans serve as an incentive for drinkers who wish to participate in a limited-edition offering. The tactic has been used by other beer brands, as with Budweiser's camo-clad bottles or Miller Lite's game controller cans, and sodas, including Diet Coke's label-free cans and Mtn Dew's brandless, "Game of Thrones" cans. These offerings often result in organic media buzz and user-generated content on social channels.
With a video reminiscent of coffee ads from the '80s and '90s, Busch is clearly tapping into the nostalgia trend, one that's seen a surge in popularity among marketers — especially those looking to reach millennial consumers. The Busch Latte video could attract millennials who were barely old enough to drink coffee — let alone beer — when that type of ad was in vogue.
Meanwhile, Busch is building a trail of inside jokes, not unlike its recent one-day "Pop Up Schop" that was hidden inside a national forest. Fan could sift through clues leaked on the brand's Twitter account to find the shop's location.