afaqs!

Budweiser on the hunt for a creative agency

By Abhishek Chanda , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Advertising | September 02, 2009
The beer major, famous for its international campaigns, now plans to advertise in an organised manner in the sub-continent

Budweiser, the global brand from the house of the world's leading brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), is looking for a creative agency for the brand's advertising campaign in India. Reliable sources reveal that the brand has invited two-three agencies for a pitch process. The brands up for the pitch are Budweiser and Stella Artois.

The names of the agencies invited for the pitch and the ad spends for the brands couldn't be ascertained at the time of filing this report. Officials from Budweiser, when contacted, refused to comment on the development.

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Currently, DraftFCB Ulka handles the duties for Tennet beer one of AB InBev India's six brands. The other brands in its portfolio are Hoegarden, Stella Artois, Leffe, Beck and Budweiser.

It is also learnt that the agencies in question are required to have considerable global exposure and reach, and should have handled similar accounts.

Budweiser was introduced in the country last year and till now, it has advertised mostly through OOH, radio and selective print publications only. It had also used PR and property based associations to drive the brand.

Globally, Budweiser goes by the tagline, The King of Beers, and in India, too, it will stick to it. Last week, DDB Global was awarded the global ad business for Budweiser and in another development yesterday, DDB London was awarded the 5.5 million Budweiser ad business for the UK market. The brand is known for some of its iconic ad campaigns, which also includes the 'Whassup?' campaign that ran from 1999-2002.

Budweiser is expected to achieve sales of about 2.5 million cases in India in 2009, which in value terms is about Rs 100 crore. Recently, the brand was launched in North India and will be made available in a phase wise manner in Delhi and NCR, Uttar Pradesh, Chandigarh and Haryana in the first phase; and Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Punjab in the next phase. Currently, it is available in nine states and in another couple of years, the brand may go for a national presence.

For the record, InBev has been operating in India since 2007 through a joint venture with the country's largest bottler RJ Corp., while Anheuser-Busch entered India in the same year through another joint venture with Crown Beers.

In 2008, InBev acquired Anheuser-Busch, which led to the consolidation of the Indian subsidiaries and the creation of a joint company, Anheuser-Busch InBev India.