Bud Light is prepping 50 concerts in all 50 States on the same day (Aug. 1) for an event dubbed 50/50/1 that will kick off a new marketing platform, Bud Light Music First.
The events will be created in partnership with Live Nation, Myspace and Universal Music Group, and the program will be supported by promotions on 80 million packages of Bud Light products, as well as national ad campaign created by Translation (the agency behind Anheuser Busch’s other music festival, Budweiser Made In America.)
Twenty-six of the 50 artists on the Live Nation-curated lineup were confirmed Tuesday night. They include Kendrick Lamar, Sublime with Rome, Alex Clare, the Flaming Lips, Drive-By Truckers, the Gaslight Anthem, the Airborne Toxic Event, the Dirty Heads, Capital Cities, Citizen Cope, Coheed & Cambria, Gogol Bordello, Mastodon, Machine Head, Halestorm, Under the Sun Tour, Guster, the Mowglis, Minus the Bear, Clap Your Hands Say Yeah, Best Coast, Frank Turner, Wavves, the Hold Steady, Corey Smith and Portugal. the Man.
Additional acts and accompany cities will be confirmed in the coming weeks at BudLight.com/MusicFirst and via the Bud Light app on iOS and Android mobile devices. Myspace will also feature exclusive interviews with participating 50/50/1 artists at a custom hub, New.MySpace.com/BudLightMusicFirst, as well as livestream select concerts on Aug. 1. Additional Bud Light Music First prizes will be rewarded via scannable QR codes on specially marked Bud Light packages.
Much in the same way that this year’s Budweiser Made In America festival will be preceded by 30 music-related events across the country, Bud Light Music First was created with an inside-out approach to a music festival.
“We’re bring the festival to all 50 states rather than bringing people to one place,” Budweiser VP of marketing Paul Chibe tells Billboard. “We really think the Music First program is something that is different, it’s really cool and something that we hope takes off and will do again and again.”
Executives at Anheuser Busch declined to confirm spending figures, but Music First will be the primary focus of Bud Light’s third-quarter advertising, leading into its fall sponsorship of the NFL. That means big bucks for America’s best-selling beer -- Bud Light spent $293 million on measured advertising in 2012, up from $270 million in 2011, according to Kantar Media, more than any other beer marketer. Budweiser is also one of the music industry’s most powerful brands, as Chibe was the third highest-ranked brand executive on Billboard second annual Power 100 -- behind Pepsi’s Frank Cooper and Coke’s Emmanuel Seuge and Joe Belliotti.
“Doing a bunch of little things doesn’t add up,” Chibe says of the mass-market approach for Bud Light Music First. “What you want to do is have the opportunity to do something that can reach a large audience and in a global way and be something that we an scale across the country. This is a perfect example of something that we can do and bring this kind of experience to our drinker.”
Music has become a growing portfolio-wide priority for Anheuser Busch InBev. On Record Store Day, pilsner brand Beck’s sponsored eight record store concerts in different cities as well as distributed 20,000 CD and 2,000 vinyl copies of an exclusive sampler. Another A-B brand, Landshark Lager, recently announced a new partnership with Zac Brown Band that will support the band’s summer tour and also include on-can promotions featuring Brown.