‘Here’s to Beer’ Lives On

A-B’s beer campaign pushes on despite lack of support from industry

Anheuser-Busch’s “Here’s to beer” campaign is entering a second phase with a focus on activation following a debut year of awareness building.

According to an article in AdWeek, the herestobeer.com web site will by invigorated with a visit in March by Food Network host Dave Lieberman, with educational videos about brew styles and food pairings. Online entertainment also will include a standup comedian playing seven historical characters—such as Genghis Khan, Ben Franklin, Confucius and Catherine the Great—that visitors can click to have a beer with.

New TV will include singer/songwriter Lyle Lovett and Columbian actress Sofia Vergara in the continuing series where celebrities share if they could drink a beer with anyone, who would it be. Also premiering April 5 on the History Channel is the History of American Brewing, a film underwritten by A-B’s Here’s to Beer initiative and produced by documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Roger Sherman. The show will be available on DVD through the Web site and will include extras like commentaries by beer guru Michael Jackson and Brewers Association president Charlie Papazian.

What’s different this year is that the Beer Institute, a trade association of brewers, is not hosting or linking to “Here’s to beer.”

Before the effort launched in early 2006, Bob Lachky, evp, global industry development at A-B approached competitors with plans for an industry effort to dress up beer but was able to muster just tepid support. Anheuser-Busch provided the sole funding, which paid for a 30-second spot during Super Bowl XL. Undaunted, Lachky said “Here’s to beer” merely needs the endorsements of people who sell beer on the street by getting promotion materials in their hands.