Budweiser Canada offers some insurance… for BBQ season

Who: Budweiser Canada, with Anomaly for creative, Veritas Communications for PR and Dentsu for media.

What: “Budweiser BBQ Insurance,” the reveal of last week’s cryptic teaser stating that Bud was getting into the insurance business. The idea of a beer brand getting into a highly regulated industry like insurance was more than a little off-the-wall, and it earned it some unlikely coverage in trade publications like Insurance Business Canada and the Bay Street Bull.

When & Where: The campaign is running through BBQ season on Budweiser’s social and digital channels, with a dedicated hub at BBQInsurance.com.

Why: The campaign aligns with the brand’s marketing activity around summer barbecue season, which senior marketing director Mike D’Agostini described as a “big passion point” for its consumers.

“[Barbecuing] is one of the biggest alcohol consumption occasions, and as a result we believe it’s a really nice space to activate,” said D’Agostini, pointing to previous executions that have presented Budweiser and burgers as “the original power couple.”

The strategy is rooted in the idea that Canadians long to be together with friends after a tough 15 months, and Budweiser wants to ensure that time is protected. “We knew we needed something different to really break through this year,” said D’Agostini. “It’s been a tough 15 months and we really need barbecues to happen this summer.”

How: It’s not a real insurance policy, of course, but Budweiser is inviting Canadians to make a “claim” at BBQInsurance.com if something went wrong at their barbecue. Perhaps it was rained out, or the propane tank ran out, or maybe it was overrun by anti-meat activists. The winning claim will receive a Budweiser BBQ Insurance package valued at up to $2,500, while there will also be a weekly draw for secondary claim packages.

The campaign is aimed at driving consumer engagement by having people make a “claim” on the BBQInsurance.com site, with D’Agostini saying that social conversation is one of the campaign’s KPIs.

The campaign is anchored by a 30-second ad running online and social featuring former NHL player Paul Bissonnette, almost unrecognizable with curly hair (“That’s his insurance look,” said D’Agostini).

Budweiser introduced Bissonnette as its chief hockey officer in 2019, and the partnership has worked well, said D’Agostini. “He’s someone that speaks to our consumer, and as a result it’s been a great partnership.”

“Paul’s obviously got a very strong following in the Canadian marketplace, his Instagram page and his partnership with Barstool Sports gives him a lot of reach, and as a result it allows us to partner with him on some pretty fun projects that break through with consumers.”

And we quote: “Our consumers love to barbecue and because of that it is a platform that we have always activated around. We wanted to take our dedication to barbecue season one step further this year by creating something totally ownable for Budweiser, and the out-of-the-box nature of BBQ Insurance does just that.” — Mike D’Agostini, senior marketing director, Budweiser Canada

Chris Powell