Michelob Shape Shifts for Younger Crowd

Aug 30, 2002

The Chicago Tribune reports that Anheuser-Busch is preparing to reposition Michelob against imports with a bottle redesign. It will forsake the brand’s circa 1961 teardrop shape for a more traditional sloped-shoulder one in an attempt to attract a younger audience. The new packaging will also be used for Michelob Light. The redesign will be accompanied by a hip advertising campaign aimed at 21- to 27-year-olds, plus sponsorship by recently signed pro golfer Sergio Garcia.

“We need to recast the image of this brand younger,” says Bob Lachky, vice president of brand management and director of global creative at the brewery. “You have to tell non-Michelob drinkers that they aren’t drinking yesterday’s beer.”

Like other U.S. beer companies, A-B has faced significant competition from import beers such as Corona and Heineken, which have eaten into the domestic beer business. According to Information Resources, supermarket sales for Corona grew 11.4 percent to $369.4 million in the last year, and Heineken grew nearly 14 percent to $220 million. Most domestics only saw their supermarket sales increase in the single digits.

Moderator Comment: Does A-B need to recast Michelob’s image to grow the brand with twenty-one and something consumers?

We’re ancient (having reached our forties) and must admit not giving much thought to the shape of the Michelob bottle. Anyway, regardless of its shape, make ours a Michelob Amber Bock. [George Anderson – Moderator]

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