Creative Campaigns #12 – Bud Light brings back the famous frogs

I don’t watch much live television anymore. The convenience of catch up services and box sets slot into busy lives far too easily.

In a way I’m sad because I’m missing out on things like this revival of the old Budweiser advertising campaign. It’s been repackaged to promote Bud Light Beer in the UK.

If you haven’t seen the advert yet, you can watch it below.

The 90s are back with a vengeance at the moment, so why shouldn’t brands cash in and recycle previous campaigns. They are familiar, fun and right on trend. It certainly caught my attention.

If you don’t remember the original it’s on YouTube and you can watch it below. It was released in 1995 during the Super Bowl to launch Bud Light in America.

For people of my generation many a break time was spent running around the school playground imitating animated frogs with absolutely no interest in the beer. BUD. WEIS. ERRR!

It only took one person to say Bud, for a chorus of others to start chiming in. The infectious nature of the catchphrase made it the viral megastar of the decade.

For those of you not in the know, the modern day equivalent to be yelled across UK classrooms is Steve and Alan from the BBC One series Walk on the Wild Side. But, of course, the Budweiser frogs were a much bigger global phenomenon!

The advertising campaign was different and raised brand awareness significantly in the UK. Clearly, Budweiser are trying to raise awareness again and using the frog campaign is a clever move.

The audience that went nuts over this advert in the 90s and 00s is now well into their legal beer drinking years, much more health conscious and looking for a nostalgic hit. They also have disposable income!

Tapping into people’s pasts is becoming a hugely profitable endeavour. Apps like Time Hop remind us of previous moments in our lives that we shared online. And, as we predominantly share good things on social media it’s highly likely that it’s a memory of an easier or happier time. It’s not a new strategy, it’s slowly been developing and is just hitting it’s stride as we run out of decades to emulate.

Forbes has a pretty great explanation behind why nostalgia marketing works well with millennials that’s worth a read.

As soon as I heard the first frog I knew exactly what product and brand it was. It was an iconic campaign. It had clout.

But, the Internet is no longer finding it’s feet, television is no longer king and this campaign won’t explode in the same way it once did.

That’s not to say it isn’t effective though.

It captured my attention when I saw it and brought a great blast from the past vibe with it. It certainly raised my awareness and I’ll probably look for it the next time I go shopping for beer. So it’s definitely achieved its goal in raising its profile and alerting consumers to the fact a light version exists. (Just not on the same level it did before!)

I’d love to hear your memories of the original campaign. Please share with me what you thought of it then, what you think of it now and your views about the upcycled version for Bud Light.

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