TV transit shelters help Bud keep it real



• Best use of out-of-home (tie)

• Best plan overall (second runner-up)

Agency/media company: Palm Publicité Marketing

Client: Labatt Breweries of Canada

Brand: Budweiser

Media team: Louise Côté, brand manager, Budweiser

Sylvie Chartré, vice-president media, Palm

Claudette Valois, media group head, Palm

Media budget: Less than $100,000

Media used: Out-of-home

Timing: April to October, 2000


The beer industry in Quebec is highly competitive. The proliferation of brands, products and segments such as discount beer and alco-malts make it very difficult to break through with a communications effort. In particular, the target demo of legal drinking age (LDA) to 24-year-olds is constantly exposed to a wide variety of messages.

The challenge was to capitalize on Budweiser’s personality and standing in the beer industry and reinforce those attributes in the minds of young consumers. The brand’s image and personality are completely different in Quebec than in the rest of Canada and the U.S.

In Quebec, Budweiser has been built on an identification with rock music, whereas the rest of Canada relies on sports and male bonding.

Palm decided to emphasize the fact that Budweiser is the best-selling brand in the world, but realized that size could potentially translate into remoteness. The goals of the campaign, therefore, were to push Bud’s size while maintaining proximity to the target demo and reinforcing the ‘Bud equals today’s rock’ image.


Palm decided to provide the target demo with ‘live’ rock experiences. Selected bus shelters were chosen for their intrinsic features: street level, urban and young. The outsides of the shelters were transformed into ten-foot-high 3-D Budweiser bottles, while a TV screen with sound played rock video clips inside. Pulling this off required extensive negotiations with both city officials and transit authorities to satisfy concerns around public alcohol advertising.

A long list of criteria was assembled to determine specific shelter locations which would both reach the target audience and alleviate community concerns. Special attention was paid to surroundings: no nearby residential areas, schools, day care facilities and community centres, among others. Ultimately, seven sites were chosen close to universities to precisely target the LDA-to-24s.

Palm and Budweiser entered into a partnership with MusiquePlus to produce a DVD of rock video clips. MusiquePlus was given visibility on screen throughout the clip for added credibility and integration, but also to meet legal requirements due to broadcasting rights. The DVD played 24 hours a day, seven days a week, exposing consumers to a rock experience while they waited for the bus, no matter what time of day. The DVD content was renewed twice during the 20-week campaign run.


After the campaign, a focus group was polled for recall and response. Comments from the group included ‘attention-getter, original, impressive and remarkable,’ ‘reinforces the notion that Bud is big, dynamic, young and up-to-date,’ ‘reinforces the rock platform,’ and ‘a talk-of-the-town concept, a true winner.’