The brewer hailed the performance of its Budweiser Draught variant in the on-trade and marketing activity around its FA Cup sponsorship for driving the brand’s performance in the three months to 31 March.
AB InBev has made raising the global profile of its flagship brand a key priority for its marketing teams. One of the ways it is hoping to drive growth is by associating the brand with shared experiences through its sponsorship of FIFA’s World Cup and marketing around the FA Cup in England.
Next month, Budweiser’s Man of the Match mobile campaign will let fans vote live for the official Man of the Match, for the first time ever in the competition’s history.
It is part of a wider strategy from the brewer to use social media – which makes up nearly a fifth of its advertising spend – to encourage drinkers to spend progressively more on its brands over time.
Chris Burggraeve, who recently stepped down from the company’s executive team as global CMO, said in an interview with Marketing Week that “beer, not Facebook, is the real social network of today.
He said: “That is essentially what beer has been doing for millennia. It has brought friends together.”
Budweiser’s global sales volumes grew 7.3% in the first quarter, while sales of its three core brands, Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck’s rose by 4.7% in the same period.
The brewer said that it would continue to the drive growth of its flagship Budwesier brand alongside its Stella Artois and Becks beers by investing in more marketing.
Globally, the brewer reported first quarter profits of $1.7bn (£1.04bn), almost double the profit made in the same quarter in 2011. Revenue increased to $9.33bn (£5.7bn) from $9bn (£5.2bn).