Bud Light Consolidates $279 Million Social Media and Creative Account with Wieden+Kennedy

AB InBev goes all-in on agency behind 'Dilly Dilly' campaign

Brooklyn-based Laundry Service formerly ran social media for the brand.

AB InBev is consolidating social media and creative duties for its top-selling Bud Light brand with Wieden+Kennedy.

The agency’s New York office has handled creative for Bud Light since July of 2015, while Brooklyn-based Laundry Service formerly ran social media for the brand.

“We have made the decision to consolidate our Bud Light social and creative work under one agency in Wieden+Kennedy. We are pleased with the work Laundry Service has done for Bud Light and thank them for their partnership, but we ultimately decided that moving to a one-agency model was the best path forward,” a Bud Light spokesperson said in a statement. “We look forward to continuing to deliver outstanding creative and social work with our partners at Wieden+Kennedy.”

“We’re very proud of the work we’ve created with Bud Light, and agree wholeheartedly that a one-agency model is the right solution,” said a spokesperson for Laundry Service. “We wish them the very best in the future.”

Laundry Service, which was acquired by sports and entertainment agency Wasserman in 2015, won the Bud Light business in late 2016 and managed the brand’s 2017 Super Bowl war room.

W+K referred to the client for comment.

According to parties with direct knowledge of the matter, this shift did not involve a formal review. Instead, it marks an expansion of the existing relationship between parent company AB InBev and W+K, which reportedly pitched new social work as part of its ongoing “Dilly Dilly” campaign.

Interestingly, AB InBev appears to have taken near-opposite approaches to marketing its two most popular brands.

Last month, the parent company officially moved to a project-based model for Budweiser. Anomaly, which had been agency of record for eight years, will continue to produce work for the brand along with a small group of agencies including David, Mosaic and VaynerMedia.

This strategy was already on display during Super Bowl LII, which saw David Miami create the brand’s official big game ad focused on disaster relief efforts and VaynerMedia produce a digital-only spot featuring the famous Clydesdales. VaynerMedia also introduced Budweiser 1933 Repeal Reserve, the first new beer released under the flagship brand since 2012, with a campaign this past fall.

“Dilly Dilly” has proven popular for Bud Light, though Campaign claims it did not go over quite as well in the U.K. The meme-worthy catchphrase ran in the Super Bowl this year and even made an appearance at the floor of the Colorado General Assembly.

AB InBev spent around $279 million on measured media promoting Bud Light in the U.S. last year, down from nearly $314 million in 2016, according to Kantar Media.

@ErikDOster erik.oster@adweek.com Erik Oster is an agencies reporter for Adweek.
@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.