Anheuser-Busch is offering two pilot programs via Facebook that allows consumers to digitally gift beer to their friends.
The promotion, created by AKQA and Facebook's Creative Shop, uses Facebook, SMS or email as the platform for giving.
Bud Light Birthday sends the gift of free beer in Denver on someone’s special day, while Buds for Buds allows people to across the country buy a Bud for friends in Chicago and Denver. Recipients can redeem mobile vouchers in-person at a local restaurant or bar.
There are plans to roll out nationally in Spring 2015. A video demo explains how the program works.
Consumers are prompted on Facebook through posts in their News Feed to gift their friends a free Bud Light to complement their traditional Happy Birthday wishes or buy a Budweiser for friends to celebrate other occasions. In both cases, an online voucher will be sent to the recipient, which they can redeem in-person at a local bar or restaurant upon showing a state-issued ID to verify they are of legal drinking age.
No external application must be downloaded to gift or redeem a Budweiser or Bud Light via Facebook. People who click on the News Feed post will be taken to a customized mobile or desktop experience to send or claim a beer. Gift delivery and fulfillment is powered by Gratafy, whose merchant integration technology platform enables simple in-venue mobile redemption
Beer is the original social network, said Lucas Herscovici, Anheuser-Busch vice president of consumer connections. The campaign focuses not on a gift certificate or credit, but on bringing people together to celebrate life's most anticipated moments, he adds.
Chicago and Denver were chosen for several reasons.
“We chose our launch markets based on market readiness and because they are important urban centers that would allow us to learn,” Herscovici tells Marketing Daily.
The initial pilots are 30 days and target millennial consumers, he says.
A 2012 study by Facebook and Datalogix found that Bud Light ads reach 20% of U.S. households and yield a six-time return on ad spend. Currently, Bud Light reaches 40 million consumers monthly on the platform. This past February, Budweiser's "Puppy Love" was the most shared Super Bowl ad on Facebook, garnering over 1.3 million shares.