Anheuser-Busch figures some folks buy beer on looks, and there’s some truth to that statement in today’s busy beer market. In fact, last week it announced plans to relaunch “America’s favorite beer” (that’s Bud Light) with a fresh new look in can form. It’s actually the first major overhaul of Bud Light’s visual identity in eight years, which blew our minds because (really) how can you improve on these arty Bud Light can designs? Well, for beer’s next generation, Bud Light will attempt what it calls a “modern twist.”
“In 2016, we’ll put a more modern twist on Bud Light, from the way the brand looks to the way it acts,” said Bud Light vice president of marketing, Alexander Lambrecht. “We’re proud to introduce our fresh new look, which pays homage to our most iconic packaging of the past, yet feels current and unique with its bolder logo and distinctive blue colorway. It’s a design that truly stands out from what’s become a sea of sameness in the light beer category.”
So in summary, Bud Light is not only changing the way it looks, but the way it acts. That’s great news. Will Bud Light not continue to buy towns and turn them into the weird universe they call “Whatever, USA?” Or maybe Bud Light will not endorse its parent company’s (Anheuser-Busch InBev’s) incentive program that gives independent distributors annual reimbursements of as much as $1.5 million if 98 percent of the beers they sell are AB InBev brands. Unfortunately, Lambrecht did not elaborate.
The Huffington Post noted that this new, very-blue can design looks like it’s trying to mimic a craft beer label. The label is definitely better (if that’s what they mean), and it plays on the history of the Anheuser-Busch nameplate, bringing back the brewery’s historic trademark “AB” crest — not used on Bud Light packaging since 2001. We’ll throw it over to The Post:
Since debuting in 1981, Bud Light has gone through 13 makeovers, and its latest is clearly a response to the meteoric rise in craft beers (IPAs, stouts, witbiers, brown ales — anything that is decidedly not Bud Light). Bloomberg ranks Bud Light as the beer with the most sales worldwide, but craft beer pulled in $19.6 billion in 2014, according to the Brewers Association and currently represents about a third of the beer sales at Costco.
So Bud Light, which will roll out a new campaign and tag line in time for Super Bowl 50 on Feb. 7, hopes this new style, and that the AB crest — “genuine brewing credentials,” Tosh Hall, creative director of the firm that helped design the campaign, touted — will entice the drinker who appreciates quality over quantity (never mind the fact that Anheuser-Busch estimates it sells 20,000 beers every minute).