Bud Light cans were not always blue.
Bud Light originally broke off of Budweiser in 1981 as “Budweiser Light.” It was Red and Silver, like Budweiser, until 2001.
So why did Bud Light change from the Silver can to an all blue can in 2008, and an even darker blue in 2015?
Bud Light “Owns” The Color Blue
Beer drinkers today have hundreds, if not thousands of options to choose from. Making the Bud Light can all blue helps it stand out from other options on the shelf.
Solid colors are a powerful tool to stand out from the competition, says brand strategist Laura Reis.² Think about other brands who have done similar things. Apple went from a rainbow logo to solid gray. Home Depot owns the color orange. Coors already owned the silver can, so Bud Light adopted Blue.
Blue = Refreshment
Blue is a “cool color” because it reminds us of thinks such as ice, cold, or darkness. It is associated with cold, refreshing beer. It is the opposite of warm colors such as red and yellow, which remind us of fire.
“Bud Light equals blue. Blue equals refreshment. Bud Light is the most refreshing beer out there,” said Alexander Lambrecht, VP of Marketing for Bud Light. It was “never up for discussion the role that blue was going to play.”
What does the AB crest on the Bud Light can stand for? And why is it back on the can now?
The “AB” on the Bud Light can stands for Anheuser-Busch – the company that brews Budweiser and Bud Light. Anheuser-Busch has been brewing beer for over 160 years, and they dominate more than 50% of the US beer market. Despite their dominance, AB was loosing support from millennials who prefer fancy, locally brewed craft beers. Anheuser Busch put their seal back on Bud Light for the first time since 2002 to make the largest selling beer in America feel like a craft beer.
The commercials for Bud Light have also changed from their mid 2000s “Up for whatever campaign” to target a more distinguished audience. The commercials today will mention more about the brewing process that goes into making Bud Light. The script on the current Bud Light can reads, “always brewed using the choicest hops, best barley malt, and rice.” Slowly AB is trying to rebrand Bud Light as a beer for everyone, not just for lazy frat guys on the weekends.
It is interesting to note that Anheuser Busch chose to put their seal on Bud Light instead of one of the many other beers that they own such as Busch Light, Natural Light, or Michelob Ultra. Bud Light is their frontrunner, bringing in 5.3 billion dollars in 2018. Still, Bud Light’s sales dropped 5.5% in 2018, though it remains the top selling beer in the US. It will be interesting to see how Anheuser Busch markets this beer in the future. Whatever they do, we know that it will not be an accident, and we will be here to ask why.