Budweiser India The Big Time Fails Big Time

A Review of the Budweiser India The Big Time from a Facebook ad

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Budwieser India Facebook Ad
Budwieser India Facebook Ad

Recently, I saw a Facebook ad by Budweiser India. With text like ‘grab some buds and celebrate friendship’, I had to click it. I was taken to a tab called ‘Welcome to The Big Time’ with a ‘Watch Now’ button. When I clicked on watch now, I was taken to the world of The Big Time. There was a video of the Big Time Baseball Episode Trailer and below there were different activities like Racing, cooking, Acting, etc. I was also invited to join The Big Time talk and displayed below that, was a list of conversations regarding The Big time.  On the right, there was a Video of the Day and a Poll – The Big Time Poll!

So what exactly is The Big Time? The ad copy said ‘Its time you rock out in high spirit’ but nothing about The Big time. I was confused Big Time!

A few further searches on Google revealed the mystery behind ‘The Big Time’. It is a social-reality TV show by Budweiser. In each hourlong episode, three contestants compete for the chance to live their dream. Along the way, they’re coached by professionals in their dream fields-like NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick and celebrity chef Hubert Keller. At the end of each episode, one contestant is chosen to go to the Big Time. Depending on their dream, that could mean performing at a major music festival, pitching for a professional baseball team, racing against professional drivers, or another once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Budweiser The Big Time Facebook app
Budweiser The Big Time Facebook app

Sounds absolutely thrilling BUT what has this got to do with India. I couldn’t relate to it. Nor could I see anybody else relating to it on the Budweiser India Facebook wall. I would really want Budweiser India to answer to some questions right away.

  • First, having The Big Time on Budweiser India Facebook page, what kind of fan engagement do you plan to drive from it? I bet most Indians would be unaware of your reality TV show, just like me. What works in one country won’t work in another when it comes to social media engagement.
  • Second, we are a cricket-loving nation primarily, and then comes in football, tennis, hockey, etc. How about bringing in some ideas around these games that are popular in India rather than concentrating on reality shows featuring around baseball and soccer? Just like Pepsi India has done with the ‘Change the Game’ campaign. It has moved out of cricket and now supporting Football in India which is definitely going to hit the right chords with fans. Budweiser needs to think more in terms of what kind of community it is building but until then it is a clear mismatch of objective.
  • Third, why the Facebook ad spend and other than adding fan count what else does the Facebook ad achieve for the brand. Celebrating friendship and grabbing some buds message is clearly not portrayed with ‘The Big Time’. It’s time for the brand to look ahead of its fan count and brainstorm on the low numbers such as “How many talking about this” which is just 12% of its total fan count.

India has a very unique beer drinking culture, so you might want to do some research on that before drawing up a Facebook fan engagement plan. What works for Budweiser in other countries might not be fruitful here. So it’s time for the brand to rethink on its Facebook strategies beyond fan growth.

Do you connect with “The Big Time” initiative driven by Budweiser India?