Anheuser-Busch makes push into Latino market

ST. LOUIS Anheuser-Busch’s latest marketing push is geared toward Latinos because of their growing number, expanded buying power and evolving tastes.

By chasing after Spanish-speaking drinkers, big brewers like Anheuser-Busch are benefiting from the Latino culture among non-Hispanic drinkers, as well.

“This [Latino] market is not a niche anymore—it’s a mainstream market,” said Ines Rodriguez-Gutzmer, Atlanta-based senior vice president at Ketchum, an international public relations and marketing agency. “Do you like Shakira? Do you eat tacos? The influence of Hispanic culture is everywhere.”

Anheuser-Busch is planning a 25 percent spending increase this year in Spanish-language advertising. Spending on such national outlets as Telemundo will increase 45 percent. Much of the “air cover” will push Bud Light and Budweiser, the company’s No. 1 and No. 2 beers in the United States. Additionally, the company last year launched an extension to the Bud family to appeal to Latino drinkers. The premixed tomato cocktail, Chelada, is aimed primarily at Mexican-American drinkers, many of whom already were mixing similar cocktails.

Anheuser-Busch expects its broad advertising campaign casting Budweiser as the “Great American Lager” will resonate with Latino aspirers itching to upgrade their beer selections. “Contrary to a lot of people’s thoughts, Budweiser can grow,” said Dave Peacock, vice president of marketing at Anheuser-Busch’s U.S. beer division.

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