How Anheuser-Busch Used Emotion to Reach Beer Drinkers

Geoffrey Precourt

"August Busch felt it always was more important to build share of heart - not share of head," Joseph Plummer told a 2010 Advertising Week/Advertising Research Foundation Multicultural Council session. "It was common sense," he said: "The head is connected to the heart and if you got share of heart, share of head would follow."

In "Emotion in Advertising: Brands Making the Connection" Plummer, an adjunct Professor in the Columbia Business School, a senior associate at Olson Zaltman Associates, and former evp of McCann Worldgroup, used examples from the Budweiser archives to demonstrate the intersection between brands and attitudes and human emotions.

"Busch felt that it was the job of bars and retailers to actually sell the product." But, advertising would bring customers to those venues and, to that end, Budweiser needed what Plummer called "emotional strategists," explaining, "It's not a big idea that it's 'Beachwood aged,' whatever that it. The big idea was an emotional strategy that was connected to whatever was on in the culture at the time."