CASSIES Bronze: Bud Light lives it up

The beer brand targeted millennials through bigger, better life experiences.

This story appears in the February/March 2016 issue of strategy.

Bronze: Packaged Goods

Situation Analysis:

In a category where identity and relevance were critical, Bud Light lacked a clear brand purpose and hadn’t developed a strong connection with consumers. The brand needed to re-establish itself while achieving the target +2.3% growth.

Insight & Strategy:

While many competitors communicated “refreshment,” no one actually stated, and hence owned its benefit, that refreshment equals energy to keep you going and enjoy your time with friends. While “living life to the fullest” was a core value among millennials, virtually all brands were communicating this the same way to them, so an opportunity existed to differentiate through experiences.


Launched in May 2014 across Canada, “Bud Light Living” was a fully integrated campaign inspiring and rewarding millennials with bigger and better life experiences across television,  video content for pre-roll and social, sponsorships, the Bud Light Living app and social channels, together with Bud Light’s vast spectrum of sponsorships that shifted focus from brand visibility to positioning Bud Light as an experience enabler. All content used real people and not actors.


In the year following the launch of the campaign, Bud Light took the number three brand position by growing 4.28%, nearly double the target 2.3% growth, and achieved the highest share for the brand ever. The past-four-week consumption target of 20.2% was exceeded at 21.7%, a statistically significant increase and a new brand record.

 Cause & Effect:

In one year, the campaign garnered over 100 million earned impressions across four activations. Positive sentiment was 30:1 over negative commentary and Bud Light/Bud Light Living trended across Canada twice in the last year. Overall spending for the brand was consistent versus previous years and there was no other major marketing activity during the year.


Client: Labatt Breweries of Canada

VP marketing: Kyle Norrington

Directors of marketing: Maria Guest, Andrew Oosterhuis

Senior brand manager: Iain Moodie

Associate brand manager: Mike Rosenbaum

Connections manager: Shea Cole

Manager, marketing compliance: Christine Arsenault

Agency: Anomaly

ECDs: Pete Breton, Dave Douglass

CWs: Neil Blewett, Johnny Dantonio

ADs: Kevin Filliter, Mark Sarosi

Designer: Oleg Portnoy

Head of production: Leanne McLellan

Group account director/creative catalyst: Dion Aralihalli

Group account director: Leah Ouellet

Account director: Mike Stollar

Account executive: Melanie Chiriboga-Gomez

Director of strategy: Paul Lipson

Director of communications strategy: Jon Daly

Senior digital strategist: Rafael Gi

Community manager: Jordan Sowunmi

Digital supervisor, UM: Lauren Pottie