[Editor’s note: After we ran this story this morning, Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brewer behind Budweiser, came out with a statement refuting the Wall Street Journal report we referenced in our story. The brewer is saying the Clydesdales will remain a part of the marketing effort behind Bud. Please click here to read more about the update to the story.]
We’ve seen these heart-tugging spots on television for more than 25 years, but now they are about to go away, as one of TV’s biggest advertisers ditches its iconic advertising campaign.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Budweiser is ditching the Clydesdales because it wants to appeal to younger consumers.
Since 1987, Budweiser’s holiday marketing has featured beautiful Clydesdale horses pulling a red sleigh, but this year they will stay in the stable, WSJ reports. Instead of running ads that appeal to many age groups, Budweiser has decided to target 21- to 27-year-olds in an attempt to halt a slide in sales, the Journal reports.
In 1988, Budweiser was producing almost 50 million barrels annually; last year, it was down to 16 million barrels. Sister brand Bud Light surpassed it in 2001 as the top-selling beer.
To replace the horses in this year’s holiday spots, Budweiser has a campaign that asks, “If you could grab a Bud with any of your friends these holidays, who would it be?” as people in their 20s look into the camera and name their friends, the story reports.
Another upcoming change? In 2015 Budweiser plans to sponsor food festivals and “add parties in college towns around a two-day music festival it started with Jay-Z in Philadelphia in 2012.”
Here’s a Clydesdales commercial from the Super Bowl earlier this year that has become a viral sensation, with more than 53 million views on YouTube: