Bud Light Seltzer clears up misconception about its formula


Dive Brief:

  • Bud Light Seltzer is out with a new campaign, “100% Hard Seltzer, 0% Beer,” designed to dispel the misconception that the beverage contains beer, the brand said in a press release.
  • As part of the effort, the brewer partnered with Rabble Games to create a tabletop card game called Misconceptions that challenges players to separate facts from common misconceptions. A new TV commercial highlights the different look and feel of the seltzer compared to beer.
  • The AB InBev brand’s new marketing push is based on internal research showing 54% of consumers believe there is beer in Bud Light Seltzer. The campaign comes as the hard seltzer category continues to see growth slow as consumers gravitate toward other alcoholic offerings such as ready-to-drink cocktails, or they choose to eliminate booze altogether. 

Dive Insight:

With its new campaign, Bud Light Seltzer is attempting to stand out in a crowded category and put some distance between it and the beer offerings also bearing the Bud Light moniker.

While leveraging the Bud Light name may have helped Bud Light Seltzer initially due to brand recognition, the move has caused some confusion for consumers, with many believing the product contains beer, which it does not.  “100% Hard Seltzer, 0% Beer” aims to highlight the seltzer’s fruity taste profile, along with the hallmark carbonation of seltzer. The AB InBev seltzer was launched in 2020 during the height of the hard seltzer craze.

The campaign attempts to insert itself into the ongoing discourse around distinguishing facts from fiction in a divisive society by developing a party game that tasks players with figuring out what is a misconception and what is a fact. The game is available for preorder through AB InBev’s online shop.

Board and tabletop games have seen their popularity grow in recent years, a trend that continued with consumers drinking at home more during the early stages of the pandemic. Hard seltzer brand White Claw similarly leveraged the popularity of games with the launch last year of a mystery game in conjunction with Netflix that was themed around the “Knives Out” films. 

An emphasis on color is evident in a new 60-second spot, “Truckin’ Bubbles” set to the song “Colors” by the Black Pumas. As a truck driver transporting Bud Light Seltzer makes his way down a desert road, the back doors open, leaving a trail of colorful bubbles in his wake. The bubbles serve as a sharp contrast to the brown landscape, seemingly in a nod to the traditional color of beer.

Hard seltzer experienced a surge in demand during the COVID-19 pandemic, with the category hitting $48 billion in sales. However, the market soon became crowded with too many choices — a problem that sowed confusion for both consumers and retailers. The oversaturation and slowdown in sales forced companies such as AB InBev and Boston Beer to rethink their approaches.

Boston Beer announced last month that it planned to refresh its Truly brand to sustain consumer interest in hard seltzer while growing its share in the beverage’s “crowded category.” Among the changes, the alcohol maker said it planned to redesign Truly’s packaging to clearly communicate a more refreshing taste profile with the addition of real fruit juice.

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About the Author

Jervie David Montejar
A food lover who wants to try every delicious dishes around him and spread the news to everyone to try it as well. Finding the latest trends about food and restaurants around Cebu and the rest of the world :) "Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first." -Ernestine Ulmer
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