Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ad Age can't get enough Bud.TV

Is it fair to say that Ad Age won't quit writing about Bud.TV until the whole thing is six feet under? Since mid-January, the magazine has written seven stories (I'm not distinguishing between online and offline) about the brewer's attempt at becoming an entertainment conglomerate, the most recent being yesterday's "Is A-B Canning Bud.TV?". The story quotes Augie Busch IV as saying that the concept may "fade" during the second half of the year, and then, later, when the reporter gets in touch with a spokesperson, he gets this mealy-mouthed explanation for Busch's earlier comments: "Its current structure might fade away as we learn more about consumer connectivity and building a social network. But we are eager to evolve Bud.TV as part of a broader digital future for our brands to reach today's consumer." Uh, OK. It is true that Bud.TV's numbers are nothing to write home about, which has been attributed to the fact that people have to register, and give away their first born, in order to log on to the site, but USA Today already quoted the global marketing chief earlier this month saying that if the numbers didn't improve Anheuser-Busch might pull the plug at the end of the year. (Full disclosure: my husband is a reporter at USA Today.) BTW, particularly because of the registration issues, the true measure of whether the site is successful isn't really its numbers. I checked out YouTube today and found roughly twenty Bud.TV videos, such as the one above in which an ad exec is replaced by a chimp. With the exception of the Bud.TV trailer, which had more than a million views, none of them had more than about 2500. If I were Augie Busch, I'd be crying in my beer too.

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