Tag: hi-lynks communications

Brewing a culture of creativity to lead future growth

One thing’s for sure. People’s expectations for brands have changed, but our playbook for marketing had not.

In the United States, the beer industry has been under pressure and to get it back to growth, we need our brands to be relevant to consumers. But, as marketers, we know this doesn’t come easy; earning people’s attention and affinity for brands has become harder and harder to do. Business, as usual, isn’t going to cut it. If the way people engage with brands has evolved, shouldn’t the way we build our brands evolve too?

So, we looked at what was holding us back. And, one of the biggest obstacles appeared to be…us. Our culture, to be precise. Aspects in the way we worked and the way we thought. We, inadvertently, became a barrier. We decided to put creativity at the forefront to catalyze a cultural change from within. In doing so, we created a dedicated team called Marketing Culture & Learning, which has architected a modern approach to brand building capabilities and creative excellence. Essentially, we’ve created an environment where our people and partners are empowered to bring and activate bold ideas in three simple ways: Inspire, Apply and Celebrate.


One of the first programs we launched is Spark Sessions. Once a month we stop what we’re doing to learn from admirable leaders outside of our company, to spark creative thinking and behavior. Earlier this year, we kicked off our new partnership with the ANA’s ‘#SeeHer’ initiative to bring a more inclusive approach to our marketing efforts, providing our people with the right resources and guidance to more accurately portray women in beer advertising. Within a week, Budweiser launched a campaign for International Women’s Day in which we recreated a few of our print ads from the 1950s to better represent women in more balanced roles. The campaign generated 50 million impressions in one day and helped to build relevance with women and Budweiser again.


Inspiration is critical, but it’s like spilt gasoline unless it’s put into action. That is why creativity is now fully embedded into our marketing routine and performance targets. In an effort to accelerate creativity to drive growth and competitive advantage, we rehauled our approach to creative excellence, in partnership with Cannes Lions. They help businesses to iconize their brand and make a step-change in the effectiveness of their communication and performance. This collaboration supported us to establish new capabilities to break down the barriers that limit our creative ambition.


Great work and the people behind great work should be celebrated and in turn, serve as inspiration for others to keep raising the bar! We’ve increased our participation in the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, while our internal Creative X awards program cultivates and celebrates creative excellence as a business growth driver. Once a year, we recognize breakthrough ideas and activations, reminding us to strive for originality and effectiveness in every creative effort we undertake. In 2018, our US Marketing team was recognized as the most creative team within the global AB InBev organization – a testament to the culture we’re building.

And it’s working. We’ve seen significant progress in our employee engagement, as well as more award-wins for our creative work at Cannes Lions, and business growth across our portfolio of brands.

We believe creativity is the catalyst for change. It starts with the power and ambition of your people, establishing a strong creative culture for growth. By building winning teams that develop winning work will build winning brands. And for us, it’s just the beginning.

Anheuser-Busch is taking part in Cannes Lions Advisory, the consultancy service that provides a year-long program for invited companies who want to change the game in their level of creative effectiveness. Cannes Lions Advisory supports businesses to iconize their brand and make a step-change in the effectiveness of their communication, efficiency in their investments and performance.

source: thedrum

Influencer marketing spend grows 83%

There has been an 83% year-over-year growth in influencer marketing spend in the US and Canada, according to research from the influencer marketing measurement company, Instascreener.

Despite marketers like Unilever’s former marketing chief Keith Weed calling the industry out for ineffective measurement, fake followers and influencer fraud, spend on the medium is still on the rise.

Instascreener, formerly known as Points North Group, said it used third-party software that analyzed nearly every sponsored post on Instagram. For non-Instagram influencer spend, it used its own spend data and research to measure investment.

It found that the second quarter of 2019 was the largest quarter yet for influencer marketing, with brands spending a total of $442m. This was up by 18%, $69m, compared to the previous quarter.

In the second quarter, $314m was spent on Instagram but a total of $58m reached fake followers.

Fashion Nova was the top spender, ploughing $5.5m into social stars. This was closely followed by vodka brand Ciroc which spent $3.4m and Flat Tummy Co which spent $2.9m.

Although spending is on the rise, influencer marketing is still a particularly murky area which the Advertising Standard’s Authority (ASA) has been keen to clamp down on.

Earlier this year, the UK ad watchdog cautioned “between 200 and 300” social media influencers for breaking strict rules around paid-for posts on the likes of Instagram.

Fake followers also continue to be an issue. Last month, social media research laid bare the ITV show Love Island, showing that every contestant (with one exception) booted their Instagram influencer status by amassing an army of fake followers. According to the research, 50% of their purported followers were fake.

Despite this, recent research by Whalar ruled heavily in favour of the medium, finding influencers ads to be ‘more emotionally intense’ and memorable than TV ads and ads found on Facebook and Youtube.

The study claimed to be a “world’s first” neuroscience study on influencer marketing and found influencer ads to be 277% more “emotionally intense” than TV ads.

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