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Budweiser allows consumers to send beer to their friends over Facebook

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Anheuser-Busch, the brand behind the ubiquitous American beer Budweiser, recently announced a partnership with the award-winning experiential marketing platform Gratafy. The partnership will enable the world's largest beer brand to connect with its customers through a brand new, unique mobile “Gifting Platform” on Facebook that launched over the weekend and will be rolled out across the whole of the US next year. It allows US Facebook users to send their friends free Budweiser and Bud Light beers on their birthdays via online vouchers, which can be redeemed in bars and restaurants across Chicago and Denver, with other cities set to join the scheme as the year progresses.

The partnership will enable the world's largest beer brand to connect with its customers through a brand new, unique mobile “Gifting Platform” on Facebook

The campaign, which has been created by digital agency AKQA and is called titled “Buds for Buds,” will target consumers through their Facebook News Feeds. Gifts are immediately delivered via email, Facebook, or text and recipients will be able to choose the Gratafy partner location (of which there are over 500 across six markets) where they would like to claim their free beer. Gratafy itself uses unique POS integration technology, not only allowing users to gift their friends with free food and drink, but providing brands with valuable analytical data, increasing the quality of their experiential marketing campaigns and helping to more effectively direct marketing spend.

Buds for Buds” - Anheuser-Buesch

Lucas Herscovici, the vice president of consumer connections at Anheuser-Busch, believes that “Beer is the original social network,” and says that campaign “Focuses not on a gift certificate or credit, but on bringing people together to celebrate life's most anticipated moments.” He adds that the campaign hopes to act as something of a “Bridge between the physical and digital worlds”, which is certainly an ambitious, but worthwhile goal, as it's thought that 93% of word of mouth conversations still take place offline and many of these conversations take place over a meal or drink at a bar or restaurant.

Gratafy itself uses unique POS integration technology, not only allowing users to gift their friends with free food and drink, but providing brands with valuable analytical data

Brian Erke, CEO and cofounder of Gratafy, believes that "For brands, mobile-first experiential marketing is the next frontier,” but feels that “Thus far campaigns have proved difficult to effectively execute and measure." He feels that Gratafy, however, is a complete game-changer, and that the deal with Anheuser-Busch is a “Win for consumers, restaurants, and brands alike." He adds that "With Gratafy, Anheuser-Busch can activate a digital campaign that leads to a consumer enjoying a Budweiser at their favourite local bar, while also providing transparency into the relative success of each campaign.”

An introduction to Gratafy

As well as the Buds for Buds campaign, Anheuser-Busch and Gratafy will also be running a second Facebook campaign called “Birthday Bud Light,” which gives consumers the ability to send friends in Denver with an upcoming birthday a free Bud Light. The campaign will work in much the same manner, with the birthday boy or girl receiving a three digit code that can be redeemed at any supported location.

Official Buds For Buds Website

Official Birthday Bud Light Website

Official AKQA Website

Official Gratafy Website

Benjamin Hiorns is a freelance writer and musician from Kidderminster in the UK who thinks that Budweiser tastes like beer flavoured water. He'll drink it in a pinch mind.

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