Budweiser is hoping to spark social interaction on a global scale with a new online reality show dubbed "Bud United presents: The Big Time," set to air globally across social platforms such as YouTube and Facebook late this year.
The campaign follows in the footsteps of the Bud House online show the AB InBev-owned beer brand aired during last year's soccer World Cup, and will give its fans the opportunity to realize their dreams by competing with their favorite sports stars, or walking the catwalk alongside international supermodels, for example.
"We're building on the success we enjoyed with the Bud House campaign, but this year we wanted to take that experience to the next level," Budweiser's global director of marketing Jorge Inda Meza, told ClickZ. "We learned last time about the sheer volume of conversation that was surrounding the show, and that reaction took us by surprise. We're trying to do that this year, too - create an international and global conversation around the content."
Each hour-long installment of "The Big Time" will see four contestants battle it out for the chance to live their shared dream. For example, contestants interested in NASCAR racing might undertake a series of driving challenges to determine which of them is offered the chance to drive a real competition car, mentored and instructed by a professional NASCAR driver.
The brand hopes to use its existing affiliations and connections to facilitate that type of opportunity. "Budweiser has unparalleled access to sports, entertainment and lifestyle assets to help connect consumers to their passion points," Meza said. In terms of the content of the shows, however, contestants themselves will be given the opportunity to influence their direction based on their own individual interests.
Over the next six weeks users are invited to apply for the show via Facebook and Chinese social network Renren, and are required to specify their version of "The Big Time." Filming will take place later this summer, with six to eight individual episodes planned. Meza said that number could be expanded, however, based on the type of reaction the campaign gets from applicants, stating, "If there are some really exciting ideas we may decide to do those, also. Likewise if there are some passions we can make possible relatively easy we will do those too."
Prior to the show airing, Budweiser plans to build buzz around it through numerous channels, varying by individual market. Those initiatives will include search campaigns, display media, point of sale messaging, blogger outreach and social media activity. Alongside the hour long-shows, short form content will also be disseminated through channels such as YouTube and Facebook.
The show itself will be produced by entertainment firm @radical.media, in partnership with Evan Weinstein, co-producer of the Amazing Race. In addition to online distribution, Budweiser said it has also been approached by TV networks interested in the content.
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Jack Marshall was a staff writer and stats editor for ClickZ News from 2007 until August 2011.
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