Sometimes meaningless phrases become more popular than slogans and catchphrases devised slogans and catchphrases. You can find many examples of meaningless brand names that represent huge corporations. People simply accept the playfulness of such terms if they resonate well in their ears.
The guys from Bud Light and the marketing magi from the Wieden+Kennedy advertising agency decided to push the envelope when it comes to “meaningless” commercials. They coined a phrase “Dilly Dilly” to advertise the Bud Light Beer and included it in a TV-commercial. Here’s an analysis of this clever marketing move and the benefits it has brought to the Bud brand.
Beer served with epic fantasy
The commercial officially named “Banquet” is taking place at a royal banquet. The background music and the costumes evoke a medieval setting. Further, it can also be interpreted as a reference to epic fantasy stories, especially the finale of Game of Thrones.
At the beginning of the commercial, we see a long line of subjects bringing presents to their king and queen. The king greets every attendee who gives them Bud Light as a present with a loud “Dilly Dilly”. The other invitees sitting at the banquet table respond in the same way.
The point of the commercial is the fact that the king interjects “Dilly Dilly” only when they get a crate of Bud Light beer. That way, the commercial sends a clear message that only the subjects who bring Bud Light will be praised by the king.
Also, the reference to the Middle Ages and epic fantasy isn’t a coincidence. Many beer brands stress out that they have a tradition that dates back to the distant past. Namely, Stella Artois originates from 1366, Leffe from 1240 and Augustiner from 1328, to name just a few.
The guys from Bud Light clearly wanted to emphasize their tradition and make a reference to the most popular series of the 2010s.
Against all odds
Naturally, every commercial is tested in controlled conditions before it’s aired on TV. In the interview he gave to Business Insider, Miguel Patricio – the Chief Marketing Officer of AB InBev – said that they performed the testing procedure and the response they go wasn’t approving.
Nevertheless, he decided to take a risk and go with “Dilly Dilly” as an official Bud Light commercial.
In his own words, he simply made a guess that the consumers would understand it.
And he was right. The version uploaded on the official Bud Light channel on YouTube now has more than 1.7 million views.
In addition, Andy Goeler, the VP of Bud Light claims that there have been about 45,000 YT searches and 100,000 Google queries containing “Dilly Dilly” weekly, for the last few months.
Although it was against the odds, it paid out to play a hazardous move and air this commercial.
The “Pit of Misery” sequel
We said that the king in this commercial cordially greets the subjects who bring Bud Light to the dinner. Still, there’s one invitee who gives the king something labeled as “spiced honey mead wine”. The king orders the guards to take the poor thing to the “pit of misery”.
Of course, this is an overt allusion to the latest craft beer craze. The Bud Light executives wanted to accentuate the simplicity of their beer and suitability for every John (and Jane) Doe.
Encouraged by the huge success of “Banquet”, the Bud Light has launched a sequel to it named the “Pit of Misery”. In the sequel we see the guy who brought the spiced honey mead wine lying imprisoned in a dungeon. One of his fellow prisoners escapes from the pit, just to take a pack of Bud Light and then brings it to the dungeon. All other prisoners, except from the honey mead wine guy, greet this sacrifice with a clear “Dilly Dilly”.
This sequel was published on YT on November 22 and it already has 360,000 views.
The success of multi-channel approach
The increase in the popularity of Bud Light as a result of these commercials is obvious. When you’re outside in pubs and bars, having a beer with your friends, you can actually hear people shouting “Dilly Dilly” instead of “Cheers!”.
To spice up an already viral campaign, an NFL player Ben Roethlisberger – the quarterback of the Pittsburgh Steelers – shouted “Dilly Dilly” during their game against the Tennessee Titans on November 16.
It’s simple, fun, amusing and catchy – what else can you ask from a beer commercial?
The Bud Light officials might not have intended to achieve this goal, but they managed to bring a fantastic multi-channel marketing campaign. The commercial was first broadcast on TV, where it caught the eye of beer lovers. After that, it became a viral video on social media and on YouTube. This is extremely important for Bud Light in the online context, since the viral nature of the “Dilly Dilly” campaign has yielded benefits for Bud Light in terms of improved SEO rankings.
Eventually, it has become so popular that they’ve made a sequel to it.
The “Dilly Dilly” campaign is a clear example of smart content marketing that’s easily spread across several types of media. It has made the product it markets more popular than it was before the campaign was launched.
What’s more, it’s yielding references in pop culture as we speak, adding to the popularity of Bud Light. Miguel Patricio said in the aforementioned interview that he found out many people are already selling “Dilly Dilly” T-shirts on Amazon.
We can only admire these witty Bud Light commercials and hope that they’ll come up with new innovative solutions for beer commercials. Until then, grab a beer and shout a loud and clear “Dilly Dilly”.
About the Author: Mark is a biz-dev hero at Invoicebus – a simple invoicing service that gets your invoices paid faster. He passionately blogs on topics that help small biz owners succeed in their business. He is also a lifelong learner who practices mindfulness and enjoys long walks in nature more than anything else.