Case 8 Battle Of The Beers
~ Who Will Capture Your Mind ~
This case is about the intense battle between beer rivals in the United States, particularly between Anheuser-Busch (A-B), the world’s largest brewer, and SABMiller, the world’s second largest brewer. It discusses about how the companies used advertising in their brand positioning in order to compete with each other and increase the sales.
This case starts by describing the strategies used by the both company when the battle began since the South African Breweries (SAB) purchased Miller Brewing Company in 2002. The 2 leading beer brewing companies uses different strategies to fight with each other in order to communicate how its beer differ from competition to draw in more consumers. First, Miller emphasized on the light beer, taking advantage of the health conscious trend where consumers were looking for low-carb beer by using comparative advertising campaign claiming that the Miller Lite has half the carbs than Bud Light. This prompted counteroffensives from A-B that mock Miller Lite’s low-carbs claims and challenge beer drinkers to choose on taste. To counter that, Miller then attack back by emphasizing also on the taste of the light beer. Things become worse when Miller also launched a new offensive campaign which lampooned Budweiser for its self-proclaimed title as “King of Beers” and Budweiser lashed back by labelled Miller Lite as “Queen of Carbs”. Miller filed a lawsuit against Budweiser asserting the false and misleading claims by Budweiser to Miller Light which will definitely affect the image of SABMiller.
Then, Miller used blind taste tests and shifted to emphasizing taste and flavour instead of stuck with a carb positioning. In 2004, the companies used comparative advertising, where Miller launched new advertising campaign attacking Budweiser, and A-B also launched direct counterattack, and this made the battle become even more intense that others are being pulled into the