As one of the largest global alcoholic beverage companies, Anheuser-Busch faced a massive disruption to business when bars and restaurants closed in March 2020. Instead of retreating, chief marketing officer Marcel Marcondes led the team in reengineering the company’s marketing strategy to add value to consumers in their newly homebound lifestyles. That included streaming workout and cooking class early in the pandemic, and evolved into its first-ever master brand campaign, Let’s Grab A Beer, which debuted at Super Bowl LV and puts its brands at the center of the in-person moments we all miss.
As the restaurants continued to struggle, Anheuser-Busch made some bold decisions, such as sitting Budweiser out of its annual Super Bowl spot to support vaccine awareness and education. Budweiser continued its brand campaign throughout the spring, offering a free pack of Bud to people who get vaccinated, and a summer stimulus plan from Bud Light to “bring back fun.”
As Anheuser-Busch has adapted, Marcondes has embraced a more agile, digital-first mindset that allows its brands to join ongoing cultural conversations rather than interrupt them. The shift has required operating more like a newsroom to stay on top of shifting trends.