ORLANDO, FL: Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer, is developing a content model that works at high speed and delivers enhanced relevance, while also proving a cost effective means of reaching consumers.

Lucas Herscovici, AB InBev’s Global Marketing VP/consumer connections, insights and innovation, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Media Conference.

“We need to be able to stop interrupting and start attracting our consumers. We need to make content that is culturally relevant, and that people want to see,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: AB InBev’s earned-media programs increase audiences and cut costs.)

“We need to move away from the model where it takes five months to go live, and a TV ad will cost you $800,000 or more … That’s just not sustainable moving forward at the speed at which we're moving.”

As marketing becomes faster and less expensive, however, brand custodians will have the tools – and the budgets – to bring more messages to more pockets of people. And Herscovici is helping AB InBev shift in that direction.

“We need to be more aggressive. We need to experiment. That’s what we’ve been doing, and we’ve been learning throughout that process,” he said.

Meeting that goal, he suggested, will require combining expertise in various areas: “We want to be the best in data, we want to be the best in content, and we want to do things in the smartest way.”

A case in point was an effort for Corona in Mexico that took a tongue-in-cheek approach to President Trump’s plan to build a border wall and encouraged people to push back – all with a modest budget, short timeframe and powerful insight.

“It’s a true example of how earned media can connect the dots with [our brand message]. It cost $50,000 to develop and it spread everywhere,” Herscovici said.

Traditional advertising, he was quick to add, still has a powerful place in the media mix – “You need to seed these things with some paid media” – but the savings and results are convincing arguments for advertising that is less intrusive.

Spreading content now demands much more than a Clydesdale and a puppy going viral after a football game. Herscovici noted, “It's not about digital, or TV, or print, or out of home. It’s all about creativity.”

Sourced from WARC