Budweiser To Waste Money Trying To Convince 20-Somethings To Drink Bud

By its own admission, nearly half of American beer-drinkers between the ages of 21 and 27 not only don’t drink Budweiser, but have never even tried the self-crowned King of Beers. That’s why we will all have to endure months of young and edgy ads attempting to target this demographic (before the company goes inevitably back to its default flags/horses/baseball marketing).

Between the mass-produced light beers (including Bud Light) that dominate the big beer market and the dizzying array of smaller and craft beers, Budweiser’s share of the worldwide suds market is a little more than half of what it was only a decade ago, and it’s only going to keep slipping with the youngest group of (legal) drinkers largely ignoring the brand.

Since there are only so many independent brewers that Budweiser parent company AB InBev NV DDS FYI PYT KITT can snap up, the multinational beer behemoth is going to try to win over the younger demographic through that tried-and-true method (for near-certain failure) — more youthful advertising.

According to the Wall Street Journal:

That means it will not trot out the traditional Budweiser Clydesdales for this year’s holiday advertising. It means February’s Super Bowl ads will feature something more current than last year’s Fleetwood Mac. It means less baseball and more raves with DJ group Cash Cash.

Additionally, Budweiser says it will start sponsoring more events that are targeted at this age group, like food festivals, along with adding parties in college towns — but of course it isn’t intending to market to underage drinkers. Cough cough.

The company has tried to reinvigorate its brand through marketing — like when it handed out 500,000 free samples at sporting events in 2010 — but its numbers keep slipping.

What Budweiser doesn’t seem to understand is that the era of being a “Bud guy” or a “Miller guy” is long gone, especially when it comes to drinking at bars or restaurants.

Many of today’s younger beer drinkers don’t have an undying loyalty to a brand. Instead, they like to try different brews, experiment, mix and match with their food and mood.

So even if AB InBev can convince some of the people born in 1994 (lord, that’s terrifying) that their first of-age beer should be a Bud, and possibly even get them to like the brand, it still faces the problem of choice. When that person sits down at the bar and sees dozens of different options, it can be awfully difficult to not try something other than Budweiser.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.