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In 2015, Bud Light was having an image problem. Although it remained America’s Favorite Light Lager in large part due to Anheuser-Busch’s brewing credentials, consumers were not proud to drink Bud Light. A decade of packaging re-designs, a visual identity system that did not speak to the quality of the product or to the brand personality, and unsuccessful advertising campaigns that resulted in brand image issues, all contributed to Bud Light’s decline. Rather than being the proud choice for get-togethers and easy-going moments, Bud Light had become the default option based on convenience and familiarity. We were briefed to transform the packaging and visual identity of Bud Light and to help regain its dignity. The goal was to bring the fun, friendly and approachable face back to the brand. Not only is Bud Light well established with its quality brewing credentials, and has a smooth, crisp and fresh taste, but it also has a fun and expressive personality that can help facilitate the memorable moments with friends. We created packaging that uses brand equities in a modern and approachable way, while also harking back to our heritage. To compliment this specific piece of the Bud Light puzzle, we also created a visual identity system that delivered a more compelling and exciting visual story for the brand.
We started with an in-depth brand audit, which begun in the Bud Light archives in St. Louis, MO. The goal was to discover some of the successful core equities that made the brand a cultural icon after its launch in the 80’s and how those assets manifested across various brand touchpoints in a dynamic and iconic way. Once we compiled all the findings, we went back to the drawing board and ideated how to tell the visual Brand story today. Through our design exploration, we modernized the color palette to focus on bold, vivid and lively blues; we elevated the logo by creating a mono weight line device that surrounds the wordmark with confidence, which introduced our new racetrack illustration style; we developed a custom Bud Light Bold typeface and neon lettering that is friendly and approachable; and expanded our brand assets by shooting fresh, crisp and tasty product photography and videos which could be used across billboards, music events, TVC and beyond. These new brand assets complement our family of primary and secondary packaging that use our range of blues with a two-tonal treatment, our confident racetrack logo, and new typography. Our new packaging speaks to our brewing quality without forgetting that we are spirited and young at heart.
The redesign has gained widespread recognition across the media with features in several major publications such as AdAge, Wired, Fortune and Fox. Ultimately, the positive feedback from consumers has proven a major improvement in brand image and has built a renewed excitement as we have strong equity to use across touchpoints. They are no longer afraid to hold a Bud Light in their hand, pick up twenty-four packs when hanging with friends, or even enjoy seeing the refreshing condensation of a bottle while driving by on the highway. These elements make Bud Light a proud choice at the bar and beyond, once again.