So InBev has unveiled its biggest ever spend for their latest Budweiser ad to feature globally during the Football World Cup 2018.

Not surprising, considering an estimated 3.2 billion people will be tuning in worldwide, making it the most viewed event in human history.

There’s a lot riding on this in the current political climate, with Russia under pressure to deliver a racism, anti-LGBT and hooligan free tournament.


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As Official Beer to the World Cup going back to Mexico 1986, Budweiser wants to put across a fun, modern, inclusive tonality.

With novichok being the most high profile export coming out of Russia in recent months, how will this export from the land of Trump be received in the land of Putin?


Budweiser logo formed of drones over football stadium
Image via WeTalkUAV.Com


Well, the World Cup Budweiser Ad starts with a swarm of hovering drones leaving the American Budweiser Brewery and making a bee-line across the Atlantic towards Europe and the rest of the World.

Some are dropping off barrels, others transporting nicely liveried bottles reminding everyone that they are the official beer of the World Cup, that InBev paid many rubels for and any infringement on their rights will be met with American style litigation. Gulp!

Nice touch with a tight close up just to hammer and sickle that fact home to other brewers.

No doubt that buys them exclusive rights in and around the stadiums and grants the drones free access to fly into the crowds delivering ice cold Bud to people deemed attractive enough. Russian air control must have loosened off its no fly zone policy for such an intrusion.

The drones also pop into pubs full of fans, politely taking off the bottle tops to the delight of the rowdy punters and drop their payload in footie loving nations in Asia and Africa too. One errant drone adds a human touch with his cheeky expression by losing his bottle and going back to retrieve it.


Budweiser ad with drones delivering beer to stadium crowds
Image via WeTalkUAV.Com


He goes on a Russian search with his sat-nav on the blink, but reaches his destination by train to be the drone that gets to wink at the attractive girl in the multi-ethnic crowd.

Watch the Russia World Cup Budweiser Ad, here

Now I’m being deliberately obtuse here. The company insists the World Cup is not a politically led event and YesMore welcomes that news from a major corporation. Sport and politics do not make good partners and if drunk responsibly, beer can enhance the enjoyment of the beautiful game be it inside the stadiums or out.

Other brewers will no doubt be tapping into the popularity of the tournament, but tip-toeing carefully around InBev’s exclusivity agreement giving the Budweiser ad pride of place.

As a veteran of World Cup campaigns and having been involved with McDonald’s with their Gol app and subsequent viral film that had an organic reach of 50 million views during the last tournament in Brazil, I know the importance of getting your message just right.


Gol App by Tony Malcolm for McDonalds
Image via Marketing Land


Has Budweiser cracked it here? Will their drones be engaging enough with experiential appearances at the tournament itself? Will their Man of The Match Award model gain traction? Will their ubiquity at the live games with pitch-side hoardings get thirsty fans ordering their brand from the bars, supermarkets and off licenses of the world?

Obviously InBev think so. But let’s see if the other brewers can raise the bar and win the hearts and minds of the fans with more subversive thinking.

Let the games begin.


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