The Brewing Battle: Busch & Keystone Light unveil rival summer campaigns


Popular Beer brands Busch and Keystone Light have restored familiar themes in the summer campaigns launched this week. The campaigns are designed for Americans who are itching to embrace the summer hues and step out to relish the travel season. This season the brands’ are running an online sweepstake, with exciting prizes lined up. The cynosure being giving five winners $10,000 in cash to spend on summer activities.

Anheuser-Busch followers on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram can enter the sweepstakes by tagging their posts with the #BuschReunionContest hashtag by May 19. The contestants just have to describe the family tradition they have missed the most for a chance to hit the bulls-eye cash prize toward planning “the ultimate family reunion.”

Molson Coors’ Keystone Light is also taking a somewhat similar approach by offering customers a chance to win cash to spend on a dream vacation this summer. People can enter the ‘Stonecation’ sweepstake by scanning a receipt showing their purchase of a 12-pack of the Keystone Light beer and scanning the QR code on store signage or uploading the receipt on by July 10.

Busch’s family reunion contest aims to raise brand awareness by engaging consumers on social media. The sweepstakes approach for this year’s summer campaign displays Anheuser-Busch’s experimental marketing towards a broader goal to create culturally relevant experiences to boost sales amid changing consumer tastes.

Keystone Light’s ‘Stonecation’ contest is more focused on urging people to share more information about their purchasing habits. First-party consumer data have become more valuable for marketers to help them identify loyal customers and derive insights that the brand can use for conceptualizing future campaigns and offers.

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown, consumers shifted their spending on beer to e-commerce sites and retail stores. The pandemic remains a significant threat, but more regions are lifting restrictions on bars, restaurants and sports stadiums as the vaccinations are being made available to the public.

The projections from analytics firm, BeerBoard show that the percentage of restaurants and bars that are open grew to 92% by late March, back from 16% in early May last year.  The reopening of public venues that serve beer compel beer marketers to adapt to the dynamic consumption habits. Busch and Keystone Light’s similar-themed summer campaigns and sweepstake contests are a sign that beer brands are returning to themes that were hallmarks of their marketing before the pandemic.

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