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Ad/Campaign: Budweiser ‘Labels’
Agency: Bmp DDB
Creatives: Jeremy Craigen


Perhaps not as popular as one of ‘The king of beers’ televised stablemates (WHASSUP!!) I personally prefer the more subtle message that this modest little print Ad conveys. It exudes a quaint and comfortable familiarity with brand Budweiser in a minimalistic yet highly intelligent and creative way.
Released in the UK in November 1997 the Budweiser ‘Labels’ Ad was the brainchild of Jeremy Craigen (now executive creative director of DDB London. It demonstrates a lightness of touch, no flashy airbrushed imagery, no tag lines. Its Budweiser, stripped back, no thrills, just truth. Ironically its a modest Ad that is in actual fact taking advantage of its extensive bragging rights. The Ad is demonstrating its credentials as a number one contender amongst global beer brands.
12 Bud labels from the very first up to the present day design, all of them containing elements that make them instantly recognisable as Budweiser such as the red, white and blue colour scheme and the top ribbon over the box beneath. Its an iconic design.
The first of the 12 labels that are evenly presented 4 across and 3 down on the page is ‘Custer’s last stand’, a major event that occurred at the time of Budweiser’s birth and saw in its first label all the way back in 1876. The Ad then goes on to present its other label designs with their accompanying place in time such as ‘The unveiling of the Statue of Liberty’, ‘The end of WW1’ and ‘The first moon landing’. These all mark out iconic stages in American history. The print even includes a nod to the Prohibition years, a time that played a huge part in the history of the consumption of alcohol in America, a time that the Ad embraces as a key moment in Budweiser’s development. The label for this time is conspicuous by its absence.
With all this heritage laid out in plain format, this is Budweiser putting forth its case as an age old reliable product that has consistently stood the test of time as a market leader. This was the beer of choice for America’s ancestors as they experienced the growth of a nation during its adolescence. “This is what your Grandfather’s Grandfather drank.”
Through this simple layout of label designs Budweiser is showing its age and like a lot of products/brands, age is an unrivalled commodity. With age comes experience and a wealth of experience as in all walks of life breeds quality and a voice that demands to be heard and respected. Budweiser has been showing its age in American history and cementing itself as an American icon since 1876.
This is why they don’t need to advertise the product. They advertise the name. The brand that is synonymous in American culture and holds its own connotations of quality, to be enjoyed after working hard and striving for the American dream.
All this is achieved by adding a date in your copy. This is nothing new either, especially amongst brands of a product that needs to be regarded as high quality like alcohol. Other notable brands that have walked down this well trodden path include Jack Daniels (1875), Kronemberg (1664) and Guinness (1759). In fact most beers will include their age.
With this Ad Budweiser is saying “We were there, we are still here, we”ll always be here because we are forever!”
The consumer is asked the question: What will define your Budweiser label’s place in history?
The King of beers? Long may they reign.


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