Food & Drinks

Budweiser Is Focusing On Nostalgia In The Holiday Season

AB InBev’s Budweiser brand is kicking off the holiday season by unveiling 2022 Limited-Edition Holiday cans along with a program aimed at celebrating people who have to work over the holidays. The cans feature the Budweiser Clydesdales and warm, traditional holiday colors, and will be shown in out of home and social media ads throughout the holiday season.

Budweiser’s Clydesdales were introduced to the U.S. public in 1933 and have long been used in marketing materials by Budweiser. The regal horses have proven to be effective at invoking nostalgic feelings toward Budweiser and its long history as an iconic U.S. brand. As noted by Muehling, Sprott, and Sultan in a classic study in Journal of Advertising, nostalgic cues influence consumer thoughts and feelings during exposure and tend to have an influence on attitudes toward both the ad and the brand. A recent academic review article on the use of nostalgia as a promotional device by Srivastava, Bharadhwaj Sivakumaran, Maheswarappa and Paul confirms that nostalgic appeals of diverse types continue to be used to favorable effect by many marketers.

Kristina Punwani, Head of Marketing, Budweiser USA at Anheuser-Busch, confirms that this year’s holiday cans were inspired by nostalgia. She states, “Everything about this year’s limited-edition holiday cans was inspired by nostalgia. The cans feature the Clydesdales, who have a longstanding tradition of being front and center on these cans, as well as Budweiser’s vintage bowtie design which evokes a sense of nostalgia, especially from our longtime fans. We want our cans to remind consumers that Budweiser has been a part of their holidays for years and we are excited to continue sharing in those special memories.”

The nostalgic appeals would seem to be particularly timely this holiday season, given continuing economic issues such as inflation and high interest rates, coupled with political division in the country. The nostalgic feel of the cans, which include Budweiser’s vintage bowtie, is designed to evoke the comfort that people associated with the holiday season over their lifetimes.

As part of the campaign, Budweiser is running a sweepstakes for those who have to work on holidays they celebrate that offer gift cards up to $100 for the purpose of having follow up meals with loved one or to enjoy a beer on Budweiser. Beginning on November 15, consumers 21 and over who have to work on the holidays can enter the sweepstakes by replying to Budweiser’s social posts with #BudForHolidays and #Sweepstakes.

Punwani emphasizes that the goal of the sweepstakes is to help celebrate people who have to work on the holidays and bring people together. “One of Budweiser’s missions is to help bring people together for the holidays and unfortunately there are many workers who are unable to be with their families and loved ones to celebrate,” she says, “As a brand committed to championing the best in America, we want to celebrate those who are dedicating their lives to helping others and keeping their communities running, even during the holidays.

In conjunction with the cans, Budweiser will also be offering merchandise including sweatshirts, winter hats, and coolies featuring the nostalgic imagery on its website. Given challenging times, this nostalgic program will be refreshing for many.

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