A-B's New Marketing: Web-Based Entertainment In 2007

Anheuser-Busch is the latest marketer to launch a Web-based entertainment platform disguised as a marketing vehicle. Bud.TV, scheduled to launch next February after the Super Bowl, will offer live and on-demand programs from a range of outside content providers.

A-B says that content will include sporting events, celebrity interviews, music downloads and consumer-generated content. Bud.TV could feature up to seven channels accessible from its portal, each dedicated to a specific genre.

Some content providers are already inked, including Wild West Picture Show Productions, the outfit behind a Vince Vaughan documentary; Kevin Spacey's TriggerStreet.com, which is expected to provide short films from promising auteurs; and @radical.media, which produced "Metallica: Some Kind of Monster." More providers are expected.

DDB Worldwide will manage and produce the Web network. Jim Schumacher, former vp-creative development, will head the new digital marketing team overseeing Bud.TV. Schumacher reports to longtime marketing heavyweight Tony Ponturo, vice president-global media and sports marketing, on the project.

"We're always looking for new opportunities to connect with adult consumers on a more personal level," said August Busch IV, A-B president, in a statement. "With adults spending more time online looking for entertainment to fit their lifestyles, we believe Bud.TV will enable us to reach them in an engaging and fun way."

A-B has already hopped onto the branded entertainment train. Budweiser.com features much more than information on Bud Light and Michelob. There is a vignette with Nascar's Dale Earnhardt, Jr., plus music and entertainment content.

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