Budweiser ‘Greatness is Yours to Take’: Lionhearts

Bud lionessesAnd so to the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup – where else? – which opens on July 20 and runs for a month, jointly hosted by Australia and New Zealand.

Of course, the time difference could be slightly tricky for footie fans, with games kicking off at 2am, 6am, 9am, 11am and 1am but, hey, that’s World Cups for you. Besides we work from home so what do we care?

Now, as we all know, big sporting events are a marketer’s dream, and this one is no exception, especially for the sponsors who are bending over backwards to “sweat” their assets.

None more so, it seems, than US beer brand Budweiser, which has sponsored the England Women’s team since 2019 as well as the tournament itself.

With the opening game just days away, the brand is launching a new multi-channel campaign featuring Beth Mead and former England player Karen Carney.

Delivered across VOD, social, digital and out of home, the campaign “Greatness is Yours to Take”, is centred on those who never give up and who grab every opportunity that comes their way – a concept epitomised by the England Women’s team.

The AB Inbev-owned brand maintains it has always celebrated greatness and those who have the conviction to go for it (although many would argue that its beers do not really fall into that category and for gawd’s sake don’t mention the Bud Light campaign backlash over trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney).

Anyway, moving swiftly along, the brand claims that no one epitomises this “greatness” more than the England Women’s team and it is calling on the nation to get behind the Lionesses, through a 30-second TV spot designed to showcase the progression of women’s football over the years – from playing on muddy pitches with only a handful of spectators, to stadiums with roaring, sold out crowds.

Devised by agency BETC, players are seen continually moving forward, avoiding challenges with skill, jumping over tackles and passing with pinpoint precision, with fans and Budweiser cheering them on through each era – symbolising the journey to greatness the England Women have been on.

In the film, we see Carney dribbling the ball on a modern day football pitch with confidence and determination, until she sends an unstoppable cross into the box for the ball to meet Arsenal and the England star Beth Mead.

The final frame sees our Beth striking the ball to bring the film to its finale, with fans on the edge of their seats.

OOH ads will appear across the London Underground, bus stops and in large formats across a range of locations including shopping malls and city centres around the country.

Budweiser has partnered with LadBible for a second time, to bring back its ‘Agree to Disagree’ feature, giving fans across the country insight into the England Women’s team as Beth Mead, Jordan Nobbs and Laura Coombs discuss everything from the best stadiums to the best dancers in the squad.

The brand is also joining forces with retailers across the country to launch in store activations and give away exclusive prizes to support the campaign. Branded bucket hats will be available in supermarket chain Asda, and for every pack of Budweiser 15x300ML sold in Tesco during the activation, a 50p donation will be made to support adult women’s football via The FA.

The entire campaign is designed to recognise the amazing trajectory of women’s football, and bring the nation together in support of a team that is looking to take that final step towards greatness this summer.

AB InBev European commercial VP Adrien Mahieu said: “We’re extremely proud to have partnered with England Women since 2019, celebrating with the fans and cheering the team’s journey to greatness.

“A crucial part of Budweiser’s brand DNA is the determination to seize greatness, and so this campaign celebrates this incredible team’s achievements and brings fans closer to them than ever before. Budweiser will inspire the whole nation to come out in support for England, and we can’t wait to see what this tournament brings.”

So, what is the consensus around the Decision Marketing office?

Well, to be fair, this is way better than the usual football sponsorship fair from brands like Nike, Adidas and even Coke, who normally just parade a host of football stars doing more stepovers than you can shake a stick at. This campaign actually shows the reality of football on the pitch with mud, sliding tackles and everything.

So, hats off to Budweiser for actually getting this one right – we might even revisit the beer if you send us over a few samples!

Decision Marketing Adometer: A ‘bring on the Lionesses’ 9 out of 10

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