- Busch rolled out #BuschLatte billboards in St. Louis, Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago, promoting the beer brand as a cold, refreshing "latte" option that's available year round and also the "next biggest fall beverage craze," according to details shared with Marketing Dive.
- Busch said the hashtag #BuschLatte is used hundreds of times each month by consumers referring to Busch Light. The brand's Twitter page shows several images of cans of the beer in fall-themed settings. The #BuschLatte out-of-home elements include screenshots of tweeted messages like "We call our baristas 'bartenders'" and "Why get a Venti when you can get a 6-pack?"
- To support the effort, the AB InBev-owned brewer also created #BuschLatte merchandise, including T-shirts and coolies, which are available for sale at Rowdy Gentleman and ShopBeerGear.
With the effort, Busch is trying ride on the consumer craze around Pumpkin Spice Lattes, or PSLs, which were popularized by Starbucks. Starbucks brought back the annual fall favorite this week for its earliest-ever release, a move that grabbed high volumes of social media chatter and even helped the coffee house win the top trending spot on Twitter.
PSLs have been a huge driver of sales for Starbucks, and Busch is clearly trying to tap into that interest with billboards that call out baristas and Venti orders — a reference to Starbucks' distinct sizing jargon. A promotional image shared as part of the Busch campaign launch even includes a beer truck parked in front of a Starbucks location.
Busch is additionally tying the fall-focused campaign into a social media hashtag that's already associated with its brand. Fellow AB InBev brand Bud Light has seen success in leveraging social media hashtags, turning its nonsensical "dilly dilly" catchphrase introduced last year into a viral success. Bud Light has spun "dilly dilly" into T-shirts and other merchandise, which Busch is trying to do with the #BuschLatte offerings.
AB InBev and other big-name brewers have experienced a sales slumps in recent years as they've struggled to win over younger drinkers, who are more frequently opting for wine, spirits and craft beers. Drinkers selected beer 49.7% of the time in 2017, compared to 60.8% in the mid-1990s, according to Beer Institute data discussed in a recent Wall Street Journal report. U.S. beer consumption dropped to 73.4 liters last year from 80.2 in 2000, according to IWSR findings cited in the report.
Busch linking its social media efforts to out-of-home (OOH) promotions might help improve its performance. Brands that devote at least 15% of their media budgets to OOH see a 24% lift in brand trust, a 106% lift in perception of brand quality and a 275% boost in customer loyalty, according to a recent study by Rapport. OOH also helped boost online advertising effectiveness by 31%, paid search by 80% and social media by 56%, the study found.