Bud Light, the beer owned by Anheuser-Busch InBev, has successfully engaged consumers through a storytelling formula inspired by “Game of Thrones”, HBO’s hit fantasy television series.

The “Dilly Dilly” campaign, which launched in 2017, has created a medieval world for Bud Light to inhabit, with a cast of characters including a king and queen, an oracle, a wizard and the heroic Bud Knight.

“We were inspired by Game of Thrones,” explained Marcel Marcondes, AB InBev’s US chief marketing officer. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How Bud Light’s storytelling formula took inspiration from “Game of Thrones”.)

Drilling down into this topic, he suggested that the popularity of “Game of Thrones” offered some vital storytelling advice for Bud Light.

“We said, ‘Okay, let's borrow some equity from “Game of Thrones.” Let's create our medieval world. What would that world look like if it was driven by Bud Light?’” said Marcondes.

“What if, instead of creating campaigns, we started to have chapters? What if we create a world? Why don’t we bring people into our world – and whenever we release a new piece of content, we release a new chapter? Why don’t we change the way we think about Bud Light campaigns?”

This philosophy has yielded a wide range of ads, including a 2019 Super Bowl spot that involved a tie-up between Bud Light and “Game of Thrones”, and saw the death of the Bud Knight – only for him to be resurrected in a later commercial.

Speaking at an event co-hosted by AB InBev with Cannes Lions, MediaLink and WARC, three companies that are owned by Ascential, Marcondes argued its storytelling model goes beyond traditional ways of building campaigns.

“This is really how people create sitcoms, how people create TV shows. This is exactly what we do. We created characters, and we introduced the different characters one by one,” he said.

“We refer to our campaigns as ‘Season One’, ‘Season Two’, and ‘Season Three’, instead of ‘waves’, or whatever you name it. So, it’s a totally different way of creating our approach.”

Sourced from WARC