Q&A: AB InBev's Jodi Harris unpacks 'Together for a Better World' campaign

"Our current environment is causing all of us to re-evaluate what it means to be together."

At the end of June, AB InBev, the world’s largest brewing company, launched a campaign aimed at bringing everyone together for a better, stronger present and future.

"Together for a Better World," which was sparked due to the recent protests against long-standing racial inequality and social injustice in America, is an open platform where anyone over legal drinking age can share unique ideas to bring society together.

Campaign US caught up with Jodi Harris, global VP of marketing culture & capabilities at AB InBev, to hear the ins and outs of the initiative. See the interview below.

Tell us where the idea for Together for a Better World came from.

The purpose of AB InBev, to bring people together for a better world, has never been more relevant than today. Our current environment is causing all of us to re-evaluate what it means to be together. For us, it has meant joining efforts to support our communities, our partners, and each other during these challenging times; we are stronger and better when we work together.

The creativity and agility from working together over the past few months has been game-changing. In the first 90 days of the pandemic we launched 100 new initiatives to help people. As a big global CPG, we utilized our existing infrastructsure, footprint, and relationships for good. We made hand sanitizer in more than 20 countries, supported more than 20,000 bars and restaurants, produced 3 million face shields to healthcare workers in South America, and more. Never before have we seen the power of ideas, from our own colleagues and from consumers, make a real difference in people’s lives.

So we asked ourselves, how might we enable the power of unlocking creativity with our people on a regular basis? That’s why we launched "Together for a Better World," an open global ideas platform where we invite everyone of the legal drinking age to help us make and scale solutions.

Why did ABI decide now was the right time for this?

As a global company with strong ties to local communities, have a responsibility to help people now. We believe creativity can make the world a better place and great ideas can come from anywhere. Through this platform, we hope to inspire other creative problem-solvers to share their ideas for tackling the changing needs of our consumers. We have a long history of using our capabilities, our relationships and our reach to bring people together when it's needed most.

What's the goal behind the initiative? 

Through this platform, we hope to inspire creative problem-solvers to share their ideas for tackling the changing needs of our consumers – especially those in the areas of social gatherings & spaces, well being, entertainment and sports, as well as new products & experiences.

More specifically, our goals for the initiative are three-fold:

  • To champion meaningful, innovative, scalable ideas that reimagine Togetherness
  • To welcome ideas from creative problem-solvers to tackle the challenges that lie ahead
  • To leverage our footprint, partnerships & capabilities to bring these ideas to life

With so many companies launching purposeful, cause-related efforts -- which is fabulous to see -- how do you plan to elevate this new campaign so that it breaks through the crowded space and gets people involved? 

It’s wonderful to see how companies and brands are pivoting to take action and make real change.

For us, this program is much more than a campaign. It is a platform that brings our corporate purpose to life through the power of creativity. The launch video is a way to demonstrate the impact of an idea when given the belief and resources to bring it to life.

We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish, but there is much more we all need to do. So, we’re asking consumers to share their vision of what a better world could look like so we can do our part to make it happen.

What's next for the campaign? 

"Together for a Better World" is a platform for change with a grassroots perspective, asking communities what they need, what will improve their lives and making it happen. We just launched it with our colleagues a few weeks ago, and are now working with our local teams to roll it out in our markets over the next few months.

Did you work with any agencies on the effort? Which ones?

It’s been a true, global collaborative effort. We developed the idea and platform with our creative partner, Africa. For production, we’ve worked with PBA and Evil Twin, and partnering with our regional teams for local relevance and adaptation of the program.

Lastly, what excites you the most about this effort and why?

The power of harnessing collective creativity to solve problems. We all believe ideas can come from anywhere, but it takes belief, grit, and ownership to turn them into reality. In line with our core purpose, each challenge is related to an experience where people come together. We hope that in collaborating with others, we are able to help build a better world for all.

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