Budweiser’s Cannes-Winning Search Campaign Has Been Hijacked by Another Brewer

Sweden's Norrlands Guld intercepted 'Tagwords' with its own ads

Norrlands Guld intercepted Budweiser's Tagwords campaign with search ads. - Credit by Åkestam Holst
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As anyone who’s ever dipped a toe in SEO can tell you, search is a fickle friend. Just when you think you have a winning strategy to drive people where you want them to go, someone else swoops in to take your prime placement—or simply buys their way to the top.

Budweiser just got a reminder of that via Swedish brewer Norrlands Guld and agency Åkestam Holst.

Fresh off the global buzz of winning Grand Prix in Print at the Cannes Lions for its Tagwords campaign, which asked fans to google terms that led to photos of famous figures drinking Bud (saving the brand from having to license the historic photos), Budweiser recently saw its idea hijacked by Norrlands Guld’s digital marketing team.

Buying up AdWords for the terms Budweiser has been advertising in Tagwords, the Swedish brewer cheekily mocked the effort with lines like, “Why google beer when you can drink one?” and, “IRL beer is better than googling beer.”

Here’s a video of the ad interception:

Admittedly, the ad buy is less of a comprehensive media strategy than a quick stunt to get some press (and hey, here we are talking about it). It’s unclear how widespread the AdWords campaign ran, and I don’t seem to get any of the ads when Googling Tagwords phrases like “1978 ballroom holding budweiser” from my home base in the U.S.

Here’s a look back at Tagwords, created by Brazilian agency Africa.

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@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."