Budweiser Owner Anheuser-Busch Angles for Films, TV and More
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Budweiser Owner Anheuser-Busch Angles For the Silver Screen With New Film, Television and Podcast Unit


In an era of endless product placements, the company behind Budweiser and Corona is hoping to create its very own entertainment division. (AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Budweiser-branded movies, TV shows and podcasts may soon be hitting the market.

Beverage giant Anheuser-Busch InBev has announced the creation of an in-house entertainment division that will target consumers who are increasingly opting for ad-free streaming services. AB InBev is teaming up with Sugar 23, the production company behind Spotlight, 13 Reasons Why, Maniac and more, for the new venture.

“My goal is to help AB unlock growth via entertainment by reimagining what brand storytelling could look like if unbound by seconds-long interruptive ads, and determine the shape of what lies at the intersection of beer x culture x storytelling,” said AB InBev marketer Lauren Denowitz.

So what does this mean for AB-owned brands like Corona, Stella Artois, Natural Light and more?

On the one hand, there exists product placement. AB InBev has successfully leveraged its brands into several high-profile movie releases over the past few years, notably by establishing Corona as the beer of choice for our favorite drag-racing stars in the Fast & Furious franchise.


Corona Beer has made an appearance in nearly every Fast & Furious film to date. (Photo: Moovy TV/Youtube)

But the new venture appears to be a move beyond product plugs — as the beverage giant creates movies and shows built from the ground up to advertise their beer, it’s difficult to imagine what kinds of stories will be told on screen.

Based on its track record, AB InBev will likely take a subtle approach.

The company dipped its toes into this kind of business model with Bud.TV way back in 2007, an online entertainment network that partnered with the likes of Vince Vaughn, Ben Affleck and Matt Damon to create everything from animated sci-fi shows to comedies.

Outright beverage advertising was rarely seen on Bud.TV. Rather, the network used a “soft sell” technique in which they’d appeal to the demographics of a specific product, then cultivate a culture and mystique in which AB-InBev brands existed quietly on the periphery.

All of this is to say, you may not know you’re watching a “Budweiser-branded” movie, TV show or podcast until you reach the end credits.

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Pedro Wolfe is the managing editor of Tequila Raiders. With several years of experience writing for the New York Daily News and the Foothills Business Daily under his belt, Pedro aims to combine quality reviews and recipes with incisive articles on the cutting edge of the tequila world. Pedro has traveled to the heartland of the spirits industry in Tequila, Mexico, and has conducted interviews with agave spirits veterans throughout Mexico, South Africa and California. Through this diverse approach, Tequila Raiders aims to celebrate not only tequila but the rich tapestry of agave spirits that spans mezcal, raicilla, bacanora, pulque and so much more.