Budweiser: Crowning Messi the King of Football

Budweiser wanted to become the most talked about brand when Lionel Messi broke Pele’s record of the most goals scored for one club; a historic feat that might not ever be achieved again. They knew that conversation around Messi peaked at record breaking moments and they not only wanted to hijack that, but own it.

As part of a multi-agency group, H+K created an integrated campaign spanning adverts, social roll outs, a global PR toolkit and a creative idea.

The hero editorial idea saw 644 bespoke bottles sent to every single goalkeeper Lionel Messi had scored past. All 160 of them! At the moment he broke the record, a global toolkit was distributed crowning Lionel Messi the undisputed King of Football and teasing the goalkeeper campaign.

In the days which followed, no one could have predicted the reaction as media titles, publishers and key football voices globally latched on to the story with football fans across the world creating memes, designing their own numbered bottles and propelling Budweiser to the top of the football culture conversation.

Top goalkeepers including Buffon, Oblak and Kepa posted their bottles on social media, took part in exclusive media interviews and were involved in Instagram Lives on the Bud Football channel all helping kickstart the Budweiser 644 conversation. Nearly 1,200 pieces of coverage were achieved across 86 different markets with ‘Budweiser’ being named in the headline in over 30% of these.

Budweiser had a huge 95% share of voice compared to other brands within earned media. Nearly five billion people globally were reached through PR alone and online search for Budweiser doubled on the day the activation went live. They truly owned the conversation and made an important step to being the number one beer associated with football culture.

The campaign was recognized with a Silver Entertainment Lion for Sport at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity 2021.

Sector: Sports
Office: London

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