Budweiser brews up Halloween ‘Drink Wiser’ campaign


Halloween offers the perfect platform to create brand experiences to die for.

It’s a time where we see brands capitalise on the frivolity of the season and break the boundaries of creativity to create some scarily good campaigns.

The food and drink industry is known to lead the way on Halloween with fun brand experiences and innovative limited editions like Burger King’s nightmare-inducing green burger.

This year, however, one food and drink brand went down a more serious route. Budweiser used Halloween as an opportunity to encourage revellers not to overdo it on the booze.

The brand conjured up a thought-provoking campaign called “drink wiser”, which featured real people who have been arrested for drunk and disorderly behaviour on Halloween.

Budweiser Image 1

The advert featured genuine mugshots of these offenders with a clever twist – each image had been altered to put the offenders in embarrassing Halloween costumes.

For example, in one mugshot, “Ameneh K” who was arrested on Oct 31st, 2015, wears a clown costume with a sullen expression. The tagline read: “Don’t let Halloween haunt you forever”. Using real life people and an edge of dark humour, the adverts certainly packed a powerful punch.

The beer brand also incorporated a social media strategy into the campaign, that encouraged Halloween partygoers to follow @BudweiserUSA on twitter and receive real-time reminders to stay hydrated between beers.

To further boost brand love, Budweiser also gave out free $5 Lyft gift cards for any Budweiser beer bought via alcohol e-commerce site Drizly between Oct 21st until Nov 1st.

Budweiser Vice President of Marketing, Monica Rustgi said: “Halloween is a chance to escape reality by dressing up in costume for the night. The untold story, however, is that this escapism can go too far when people forget to drink responsibly. That’s why we worked with real people who were arrested on Halloween to remind others to drink and act responsibly this holiday.”

Budweiser Image 3

Geo-targeting cities that have high rates of drinking-related arrests on Halloween, the digital and out-of-home ads ran in New York City, Philadelphia, and Chicago.

Proving that Halloween is the perfect holiday to create bewitching campaigns, we’ve seen food and drink brands deliver some eerily impactful campaigns such as Reese’s immersive Haunted House experience and Burger King’s ghostly McDonald’s trick.

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Author bio


With nearly 30 years of marketing experience, both client and agency side, I’ve acquired a rare perspective on brands and business: I believe you have to challenge things creatively if you want to grow sales. Consumer technology is reshaping our world, and it’s only the great brands that stay on the crest.