‘Do more, be better, stand up and speak out’

 
Dwyane Wade

Dwyane Wade

The Grand finale of the Budweiser seminar CHEERS TO PEOPLE! Make Brands More Human, Change The Game, saw recently retired basketball player Dwyane Wade in conversation with Anheuser-Busch USA CMO Marcel Marcondes. In the lead-up to his appearance, the Budweiser campaign that was made to mark his departure from professional sport was screened, demonstrating the brand’s commitment to talking about real people and connecting with individuals. The spot featured Wade meeting five people whose lives he had helped rebuild through his charitable ventures: “That spot was the only one I made, and I had no idea that was going to happen. I thought I was going to be swapping jerseys with some players, so what you saw was raw emotion as they recounted their stories and my foundation’s role in that,” he said. “We all have a responsibility to do more, be better and to stand up and speak out. That’s what my grandmother taught me. Because she had a dream that I could rise up and go beyond the poverty of my childhood, so I was happy to be able to make my gran proud.”

Before Wade’s talk, Marcondes outlined how Budweiser has transformed its marketing approach: “We believed that by focusing on the people who drink Budweiser and talking their language that we could forge connections. The first thing we implemented was to speak the language that our customers speak, which sounds obvious but what it comes down to is creating content as opposed to advertising. So we created the Bud Light series with characters such as the Bud Light Knight, and every new film we made was an episode, and the series culminated with HBO reaching out to us to create an episode that flagged the launch of the final series of Game Of Thrones. In the Bud Light episode, the Bud Light Knight dies in a joust, but like all legends, he comes back because legends never die.”

 
Harriet Palmer