How We Created A High Engagement, High Impact, Millennial Focussed Campaign For AB InBev

Aditi Ajmera
Feb 21, 2019 · Unlisted

Brand Engagement In The Era of ADD Millennials

We’ve worked with over 2000 brands- both small and large scale- on campaigns for LBB over the past two and a half years. What’s most encouraging to see is that brands are finally giving cognizance to the fact that unlike their predecessors, millennials are a different consumer category by themselves — spoilt for choice, constantly inundated with information, and highly attention deficit.

One such brand we had the pleasure of working extensively with is Anheuser-Busch InBev or AB InBev (World’s largest Beer brewing company ; behind Corona, Budweiser, Beck’s Ice to name a few).

The Brief
The requirement was driving brand awareness and recognition of #SmartDrinkingBuddy, an initiative by AB InBev and create a conversation about responsible drinking. This campaign tied in with Global Be(er) Responsible Day. The catch? “Don’t make it sound boring!”

They created this cool mascot for the campaign…

… And we were given the task to amplify its reach, with customer engagement and interaction as the North Star metric.

With Great Briefs Comes Great Responsibilities
Messaging around ‘drink responsibly’ isn’t new- and this cause has been taken up by an array of companies, from governmental organisations to car companies and liquor brands of course. How do we make conversations about this extremely important subject matter relevant, new and fresh for a demographic that’s young, most definitely will not respond to anything that’s patronising… and also isn’t really interested in being told by yet another entity- along with their parents- that they should drink responsibly?

Our Pitch
We divided the campaign into two phases- both with elements of video, offline engagement, and a live quiz. With videos, we took the route of Vox-Pop videos, a format that’s been driving incredible engagement organically on LBB. The objective of phase 1 was to set baseline metrics, and gauge user response and feedback; phase 2 was to double down on elements of the campaign that were leading to high reach and customer engagement.

Phase 1 Deliverables

Timeline was Sept-Oct 2018 (pre-Diwali)
Vox-Pop video which was created and distributed on LBB
Innovation: Drive customer engagement via online contest and banner ads on LBB’s web and app.
Capture total reach of the campaign and total customer engagement across the online activities.

Here’s what was created for AB InBev
Customised videos were created for audiences in Delhi, Mumbai, and Bangalore that drove local conversations around the theme of #SmartDrinking and #SmartDrinkingBuddy. These videos were amplified on LBB’s web, app and distribution channels.

We then hosted a contest on LBB’s web and app asking readers to share stories about their #SmartDrinkingBuddy and their #SmartDrinking tips.

Phase 1 Result

4.6 Million impressions

An Engagement ratio of 15% (higher than average of 6% — 10%) on LBB (defined as the ratio in between post read to action taken)

Key Learnings

  1. Localise, localise, localise
    The Vox-Pop format works when the output or content created resonates with the context of the end user. Showing an end-user in Bangalore where people in Delhi drink would’ve led to a loss of context, poor engagement, and therefore poor performance; localising the conversation around drinking responsibly worked wonders for this campaign.

2. Make the message relatable not preachy
The last thing an under 35-year-old wants is to be schooled. Content for info-tainment needs to acknowledge this, and develop a communication strategy that delivers on this. AB InBev’s mascot was the right step in this direction.

Phase 2


Taking on from the success of Vox-Pop as format, we recreated a similar series, but with New Year as a theme.

Offline activation: drive footfall to an offline engagement for #SmartDrinkingBuddy

Innovation: What we added to the media mix was a real-time Live Quiz, where the gratification for the quickest person to successfully answer all questions would be given an XBox One S.

Here’s what was created for AB InBev:

There was an offline event for which we single-handedly drove 100% of the registrations, collected on LBB’s web and app. We created a #SmartDrinkersZone offline where we integrated the brand objective with activities like Smart Drinking Games and Trivia Quiz on Smart Drinking.

… Along with a customized live quiz!

Phase 2 Results:

8.1 Million impressions in 15 days: a JUMP of 175% from phase 1

Over 2000 sign-ups for the LIVE quiz against a committed number of 1500 sign-ups.

Conversion of 78% from signing-up for a quiz to participation in the quiz.
737K+ Total Video Views across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

We surpassed expected video views by over 63%!

83% conversion from registration to turn-up for event in Bangalore

Key Learnings

  1. Pick Your Audience and Pick Your Battles
    For the quiz component of the campaign, we’d aligned all teams to chasing simultaneous plays (longer time-spent, better engagement; over high impressions, low conversion) as a metric. On average, a user spent 3.5 MINS engaging with AB InBev- more than they would had it been a pure-play brand video.

2. Consumers Don’t Get Bored Of Engaging Formats
Exhibit A — Vox Pop as a format. We launched this format organically, and the response was absolutely fantastic, which led us to pitch this to AB InBev. This format performs (measured by time spent on video, and views to engagement ratio) fantastically well when the theme is relevant and topical.

3. Re-imagine Ads
Traditionally, an ad is thought to be one that explicitly wreaks of a brand- this construct needs to be re-looked at, especially in the context of a millennial demographic. Don’t get us wrong- different mediums and platforms see different kinds of ads working, but ones that drive above average conversion are usually the ones that lead with a message than those that lead with a brand.

AB InBev could’ve very well named the campaign “Drink Responsibly” or #GBRD (an abbreviation no one would’ve understood)- but by leading the conversation with a narrative and mediums that are #millennialfriendly, we were able to work with AB InBev to deliver a high impact campaign.

As summarised by the team at AB InBev themselves,

“Our #SmartDrinking campaign with LBB received a great response amongst our consumers. We touched upon on all relevant key messages through interactive videos, articles, on ground events and live quiz with Legal Drinking Age+ consumers. What worked well for us was that the entire campaign on Smart Drinking was interactive and quirky highlighting relevant key messages. We didn’t want to the campaign to be preachy in any way for our consumers targeting the right touch points during the festive season.”

— Ashwin Kaku & Bratin Roy

Want to connect your brand with a millennial audience? We’re happy to help.

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Aditi Ajmera

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