A-B Marketing Heavy Discusses Bud.tv’s Tribulations

Tony Ponturo, president & CEO of global media and sports marketing at A-B’s Busch Media Group, played down Bud.tv and played up the company’s total digital ad and media strategy during a keynote address at Advertising Week today.

Speaking at OMMA, he was very blunt about the “learning experience” involved in nursing the over-hyped site through its rocky first few months. He even shared some stats both flattering and unflattering: The site has averaged over six minutes per visit from between 50,000 and 100,000 monthly uniques, a total of 1.1 million videos have been viewed, and 40,000 users have opted in to receive e-mail.

As it turns out, the most viewed content on Bud.tv are the commercials, a phenomenon that appears to have been driven by the site’s one monster viral hit, Swear Jar. He said the spot was actually developed over a year ago for the Super Bowl, and was not surprisingly buried for being too vulgar. In its resuscitated form online, he said it garnered three million page views on YouTube and 125,000 on Bud.tv. “You try to do content and be clever, but consumers still want to view the commercials.”

After lamenting that “for better or worse, Bud.tv’s gotten a disproportionate amount of talk” relative to A-B’s other digital initiatives, he spent the bulk of his keynote discussing those efforts. He said A-B doubled its online ad spend from 5 percent of its overall budget in 2005 to 10 percent in 2006, and that this year will bring an additional 30 to 50 percent increase. The company now operates 40 brand sites and has relationships with 65 to 100 third party sites, including properties like Maxim and the streaming properties of local broadcast stations. Additionally A-B uses mobile as a “social connector” at live events and other venues.

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