Ron Howard's "Made In America" isn't Budweiser's only foray into documentary filmmaking. The beermaker is debuting "Half Of Me," a documentary short chronicling Rihanna and several of her superfans in the U.K. and the U.S. The film, which Billboard exclusively premieres below, is part of Budweiser's global Made For Music initiative, which will formally debut tomorrow at BudweiserMusic.com. The film was produced in part with Budweiser's creative agency Translation, and directed by Phil Griffin.
"We look at Made For Music as celebrating creators that make a mark on pop culture," says Camilo Durana, global director of Budweiser Sports & Entertainment. "We recognize the incredible relationship Rihanna has with her fans, and it's no mistake or coincidence she's one of the most-followed people on the planet in terms of social media. That's because of the message she gives to fans about being themselves and being authentic and inspiring them to achieve their dreams. That's very much in line with where we are as a brand and the message we want to communicate through Made For Music."
Made For Music is part of Budweiser's efforts to expand its presence in international territories where its namesake beer can be established as a premium lager and often even super-premium, as it is in China and Asia Pacific. The program is designed to give music fans "unparalleled access" to their favorite artists and events, as Translation CEO Steve Stoute told Billboard in July, with Jay Z featured in a Mark Romanek-directed TV campaign.
Rihanna is capping off a week's worth of Made For Music activity, premiering "Half Of Me" Sunday night (Sept. 15) at a private event in Hong Kong, where she was joined by 200 of her biggest fans and presented with a jar full of messages collected via social media by the president of her China fan club. Budweiser also sponsored Rihanna's performances in Macao, Shanghai and Hong Kong as part of her Diamonds World Tour.
Budweiser parent company Anheuser-Busch was recently named by IEG as the largest sponsor of music festivals, events and tours, with a projected $335.5 million outlay on music set for 2013. The company has been taking on more of a promoter-like role in its partnerships with Live Nation, from the ambitious 50-50-1 concert series on Aug. 1 to the second installment of Made In America over Labor Day in Philadelphia, which saw a 50% increase in ticket sales this year.