In a tri-series campaign conceptualised by DigitasLBi, the liquor-maker documents inspirational life stories of Masaba Gupta, Robin Singh and Dualist Inquiry
BestMediaInfo Bureau | Mumbai | July 15, 2016
Beer brand Budweiser recently unveiled a series of digital films showcasing the inspirational success stories of fashionista Masaba Gupta, Indian footballer Robin Singh and genre-breaking electronic dance music artist Dualist Inquiry a.k.a Sahej Bakshi. The films are part of its on-going campaign, Brewed The Hard Way (BTHW).
The BTHW campaign attempts to reach out to young adults who live life on their own terms, pursue their passion with conviction and walk through the world with a confidence that only comes from knowing who you truly are. The campaign that began with the launch of Budweiser’s global videos aims to bring to life key brand values such as freedom, ambition and authenticity.
Kartikeya Sharma, Marketing Director, AB InBev, India and South East Asia, said, “Budweiser is a beer that is brewed on its own terms, for people who live on their own terms. Our campaign, Brewed The Hard Way, is a call to those individuals who embody values such as ambition, authenticity and freedom. Personalities like Masaba Gupta, Robin Singh and Sahej Bakshi are youth icons who have brilliantly demonstrated these values and philosophy in the manner in which they have achieved success. We are happy to partner with them and hope their journeys inspire many more.”
The first chapter of the series casts Robin Singh as he narrates his ambition’s story. ‘In a country where cricket is considered religion, I chose to put my faith in football, a decision I was told I’d regret. My name is Robin Singh; you may know me as a striker for the Indian Football team. My journey wasn’t easy. With every step towards my goal, there was the occasional setback. But setbacks give way for comebacks. For me, what counts is not the 90 minutes of game-time, but what you do with the ball the few seconds you have with it. If I had a chance to go back in time and choose, I’d do it all over again. If you’re true to your ambition, if you’re brewed the hard way, nothing can stop you.’
The second chapter narrates the freedom story of Dualist Inquiry aka Sahej Bakshi. ‘There are always those opposing forces, acting on all of us. The free spirited heart and a constrained mind… It’s only after I embrace the extreme though, that I feel real freedom. My name is Sahej Bakshi, my name is Dualist Inquiry. Duality, the binary nature of things, that’s what inspires you. In music, every sound has its own meaning, but it also has an exact opposite. I go about trying to bring these opposing forces together. Then, I get to watch something amazing happen. Sound waves get a purpose, an emotional meaning and then everything else fades away. It’s music, it’s my music. Free of any labels, free of any plan. And now that I have my truth, the world will hear it. If you can find your freedom, if you’re brewed the hard way, nothing can stop you.’
The last chapter casts Masaba Gupta and her story of Authenticity. ‘I had not one but two legacies to live up to: actor, sportsperson… what would I be? I knew there was an artist in me, craving to sing, dance, express! Finally I found my calling or well, my calling found me. I am Masaba Gupta and ‘Masaba’ is my identity. If you’ve seen, worn or even heard of ‘Masaba,’ you’ve known a bit of me. Bold, unconventional, quirky. My designs come from my own experiences. Every pattern weaves out my story. Every motif mirrors my state of mind. I like to take something similar and surprise people by giving it a new personality. Even today, I’m just a little girl draping mum’s saree and making it my own. I’m no longer chasing a legacy, but leaving behind my own – one print at a time. If you stay authentic, if you’re brewed the hard way, nothing can stop you.’
All the three chapters show each one’s story of ambition, freedom and authenticity as the campaigns end with Budweiser’s message #ThisBudsForYou.
The films have been released on Budweiser’s social media and digital platforms. The films were conceptualised and produced by the brand’s digital marketing agency, DigitasLBi.
Upasana Roy, Head of Strategy, DigitasLBi India, said, “Everyone loves to tell a success story; few tell it like it really happened. Budweiser knows first-hand that it takes a long time to perfect one’s dream, and the process is one filled with a lot hard work and passion. This was the primary lens deployed through our creative process for this campaign. In our creative journey, we chose to not focus on just the typical ‘before the fame’ elements. Instead, we realised that each of the personalities have undergone an arduous process, one that needs to be continually repeated and perfected despite their success. This is what set them apart and made their inspiring narratives fit naturally into the philosophy of Brewed the Hard Way.”
What creative minds think
According to Ananda Ray, Creative Head, Rediffusion Y&R, Chennai, “Chapter 01: Ambition didn’t impress me much. It felt like one of the many sport brand or sport programme ads that already exist, both in content and construct.”
For Ray, the idea came through loud and clear in ‘Chapter 02: Dualist.’ Ray adds, “For one, the choice of career felt new and refreshing, unlike in Chapter 01. Second, the production – editing, sound design and so on -- reflected the protagonist’s personality and choice of career as well as the spirit of the ad beautifully. Budweiser ads have (mostly) managed to feel both real and yet larger than life, usually both at the same time. Chapter 02 came closest to that.”
He adds, “Chapter 03: Authenticity was almost as good as Chapter 02, but felt slightly more generic to me, but not enough to be a let-down. It felt honest and not contrived, which many ads often end up being, when capturing an off-beat career. In this one, the career isn’t all that off-beat, either; however, the candid, confident portrayal of the protagonist gave the film its power.”
Mangesh Mulajkar, Senior VP, Account Management, Scarecrow Communications, said, “This new Budweiser campaign -- part of the global launch of their summer campaign 'Brewed The Hard Way' (BTHW) -- is a good extension and carries forward the same pathos. It attempts to introduce the youth to the rich and long heritage of the brand to the younger generation. It carves a good connect with the youth who with their irreverent approach to live life on their own terms, pursue passions and have the confidence to define their own world. The execution brings out the essence and importance of the Budweiser brand values through its three videos titled freedom, ambition and authenticity and ascribe the 'never back down' and 'doing it the hard way' attitude.”
Mulajkar adds, “But like the global campaign it needs to build on the brand connect by drawing parallels with the passionate approach of Budweiser in making ever single brew that gets filled into the bottle and served with the same passion worldwide to millions of its customers. The connect comes out even stronger that the tradition of designing even the brand label with artists who have hand drawn the logo, emblem and everything else on the pack right from the day the first bottle was sold, has been retained even today.”
For Mulajkar, the campaign would have been more effective had the brand been introduced with a better brand connect. Else they were wonderful videos that showcased the talent, grit and passion of three young and talented individuals.
It seems Hemant Shringy, Executive Creative Director, BBDO India, liked the theme and the campaign. He said, “Brewed the hard way is a great thought. It's inspiring while staying true to the brand and the category. And also it's so specific. However, not all three stories bring alive that specificity. They meander into different territories. No doubt it must have been tough to bring out one single thought with three influencers who are so diverse, but maybe it was possible to explore different angles of 'brewed the hard way' -- in one case it could have been the person and in another, the creation. It is packaged very well though and has great scope for longevity with maybe even everyday people featuring in it in the future.”
Client: AB InBev
Head of Strategy: Upasana Roy
Digital Strategist: Bilal Ansari
Senior Creative Director: Mark McDonald
Associate Creative Director: Mikhail Verma and Siddhi Desai
Copy Supervisor: Ashton Rodricks
Senior Associate Copywriter: Smit Hindocha
Associate Copywriter: Nabeel Lakhani and Drishti Mehta
Trainee Designer: Shiamak Chhapger
Outreach Director: Anusree Menon
Associate Outreach Specialist: Ronald Fernandes
Key Accounts Head: Adityan Kayalakal
Group Account Director: Aakanksha Patel
Senior Account Manager: Pallavi Kamath
Associate Client Services: Shashank Sharma