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Peek Inside AB InBev’s Marketing Strategy

Paul Talbot, a Forbes contributor, spoke with Richard Oppy, VP of global brands at AB InBev, to discuss the changes to the firm’s marketing strategy in the past year.
Here are some highlights from their conversation:

  • budweiser beer 5699482 640“Rather than take a defensive or conservative position during the COVID-19 pandemic, we used this time to accelerate the transformation of our team as modern marketers.”
  • Every week for three months in 2020, the firm’s teams from all around the world pitched ideas against a brief for what AB InBev could do to help communities and customers in need. As a result of those efforts, breweries pivoted to make hand sanitized and fill oxygen tanks. The company used its resources to help build hospitals in Mexico and Brazil. It also developed brand programs, such as Rally for Restaurants. “In the long run, we believed that if we seized the moment and took action as leaders, our investment would pay off in brand reputation, consumer trust and relationship building.”
  • The firm also recognized the pandemic led to changes in consumer behavior that are likely to be long lasting. “We approached this period as an opportunity to fuel our transformational agenda; doubling down on bets like our e-commerce and direct to consumer businesses.”
  • Oppy also noted that, from a brand perspective, talk is cheap. “Running an ad that talks about how ‘we’re all in this together’ is very different from actually doing something tangible to help alleviate a pain point or put a smile on someone’s face. He noted how Budweiser declined to advertise during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years and instead redirected those dollars towards “the Ad Council to support vaccination awareness.”

Read the full Q&A from Forbes.

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