Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer, has enjoyed success with a livestreaming program that built connections with consumers during COVID-19.

David Zapata, the brewer’s global marketing director/media transformation and partnerships, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2020 Digital Marketing Conference.

“We ended up having 500-plus livestreams with more 500 million views across all of YouTube,” Zapata said of the company’s efforts. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How livestreaming helped AB InBev pivot during the COVID-19 crisis.)

Its endeavours in this area included a tie-up between AB InBev’s Budweiser brand and the Black Eyed Peas that featured a performance from the group’s home base in California.

Prince Royce and Jason Derulo also performed for Michelob Ultra Pure Gold and Bud Light Seltzer’s virtual concert series – an event tied in with the first ever International Beer Fest, an online celebration held by AB InBev on August 7th.

The test case for the livestreaming series came from Ambev, the Brazil-based brewing company in which Anheuser-Busch InBev holds a 61.9% stake.

Ambev had embraced a “stop interrupting/start entertaining” mindset before the COVID-19 outbreak and used this approach to run livestreamed concerts for brands such as Brahma.

Rather than make the sponsoring brand incidental to the entertainment, AB InBev and Ambev kept its brands upfront throughout each of the sessions.

“Sometimes, commercials are not commercials, but experiences for consumers where they really lose who the brand is,” Zapata said.

“We wanted to tell our brand managers and our marketers that we were creating a good experience for consumers, but to make sure that we weren’t losing [our brands] doing that.

“We weren’t ashamed of these performances being a branded livestream. We had our logos in the livestreams themselves. We had the artists promoting the brands. We had our branding in the sets themselves.”

The result? “The consumers felt that it wasn’t just them and the artists; they were connecting [with] our brands as well during those whole experiences. They helped us meet our needs to help our consumers as well as to continue selling beer.”

Sourced from WARC