Class action lawsuits claiming Anheuser Busch watered down 10% of its products may have cut short the annual post-Super Bowl bounce in beer drinker perception for its Budweiser brand.
Last year, Budweiser ramped up its perception numbers among beer drinker around the time of the Super Bowl to peak levels, likely fueled by its usual aggressive marketing and advertising. The bounce lasted until the end of February, then the brand experienced another perception boost in March on the heels of their “Track Your Bud” promotion which launched on February 29th.
This year’s Budweiser perception chart looks very similar, except without a major March promotion, the lawsuit controversy seems to have pushed the numbers down to more negative sentiment than positive.
YouGov BrandIndex measured Budweiser using its Buzz score, determined from asking respondents: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" All results for this research are for adults 21+ who drink beer at least three or more times a week.
YouGov BrandIndex measurement scores range from 100 to -100 and are compiled by subtracting negative feedback from positive. A zero score means equal positive and negative feedback.
In 2012, Budweiser’s Buzz score made a run from -8 on January 10th to 34 in mid-February, zipping down to 3 a week later, before heading back to 24 on March 4th.
This year, Budweiser’s Buzz score jumped from 6 on January 10th to 39 on February 9th, and like 2012, back down to 3 by the end of the month. But instead of bouncing back up, Budweiser kept dropping to its present -2 score, compared to 24 on the same date last year.