R.I.P. Bud.tv

9 Comments

budtvThis keg is tapped. Bud.TV, the high-profile online video site from Anheuser-Busch (s BUD), has served its last video, and now only has a message that reads: “Bud.tv is no longer available. We’d like to thank millions of viewers from over 200 countries for visiting us over the past couple of years.”

Bud.tv launched at the 2007 Super Bowl and quickly floundered due to a complex age verification system that hampered widespread adoption. Anheuser-Busch’s V-P of marketing, Keith Levy, told Ad Age that the cost and discipline to produce massive amounts of content was too much for the beer company, which spent $15 million on the site.

Bud.tv had hoped to pull in 2 million unique visitors a month, but shortly after launch it was clear that was a pipe dream. It lasted longer than many predicted, however, including receiving a stay of execution in September of 2007, when the company said it would keep the site alive through at least 2008.

So what can Adidas.tv, a soon-to-be-launched branded video site from the shoe company learn from Bud.tv’s demise?

You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Bud.tv’s registration process was a nightmare that turned people off the site almost immediately.

Have content that fits your brand. One of the better-known web series on Bud.tv was the animated apocalyptic tale Afterworld. How this fit alongside beer commercials, we’re not sure.

It’s OK to try new things. Bud.tv was a bit of a running joke at NTV HQ as almost every writer posted a story on it, but despite the failure, at least the company adopted a relatively new technology early on and didn’t give up on it after it went south. I’ll raise a glass to that.

9 Comments

remote control software

I think the adidas site makes more sense- they have a specific sports theme, and can have related content. Budweiser was too broad, anyone over 21 is a target. How do you appeal to everyone at once?

ruthdabu

Everything happened for a reason, though it ended its last episode, there will always be another good one which will touch lots of audience.

Cynthesis

I get zane’s point, AFTERWORLD probably did nothing for Bud — but, “Texas Bud Girls” would do a lot for them and probably get many more eyeballs. Bud.TV should have tied into the corporate assets and created wondrous content for us all (to enjoy, mock, mash, etc.)…

Patty M

zane: budtv had one great series with AFterworld..but it didn’t have wide distribution until after it left budtv.. at which point it became a big online hit. Or maybe Bud should just make better beer……

zane_08

We all know that if Bud.TV had just done one great (for them) episodic series that had wide distribution (non-exclusive), they could have spent 1/30th of the money and had a gajillion eyeballs:

TEXAS BUD GIRLS
Log Line: The perils and romances of 3 Texas Bud Girls while they travel the country promoting their beer.*

In the meantime, Brands would be better served by putting money and creative (pay their Agencies) into advertising and marketing AROUND video content, not thinking they can do everything, particularly, launch their own channel.

  • Why Texas? It was either that or New Jersey.

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