LEUVEN: Anheuser-Busch InBev is aiming to build Budweiser sales through a global positioning based on the beer brand's long heritage.

Ad Age reports that the Netherlands-based brewer has identified eight markets to focus on in a new sales push, including the Ukraine where the brand launches this week.

"It would take most companies probably a year of media investment to get to the level of awareness that we already have for a product that's never been launched [in Ukraine]," said Jason Warner, global vice president of the brand.

"And that's because of the iconography and the scale of a brand like Budweiser and the fact that it's seen in Hollywood films, it's seen in popular culture and it travels."

Warner confirmed that Budweiser would back the initiative with a continuation of its optimistic and celebratory brand positioning, with ads focusing on beer's traditional role as a "social equaliser", and also leveraging the brand's American roots.

Over recent years, global growth for Budweiser, which is now available in 86 markets, has helped to cancel out falling sales in its home market.

US sales as a proportion of the total have fallen from 72% in 2009 to 56%. But global volume sales have consistently risen over this period, and were up 3.1% in 2011.

Last year, Budweiser was the world's fifth most-popular beer, taking a share of 1.9%. Snow, a brand available only in its home market of China, was top on 5%.

By contrast, the soft drinks market is far less fragmented, with market leader Coca-Cola retaining a global share of around 25%.

Data sourced from Ad Age/Euromonitor; additional content by Warc staff