A twist of lime, indie music for beer launches

Fri Apr 25, 2008 10:26pm EDT

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NEW YORK (Billboard) - On a recent evening at New York's Maritime Hotel, the members of electronica duo Yacht are spastically flinging themselves about in front of a crowd of indie-label types and their fans, advertising salespeople and Anheuser-Busch executives from St. Louis.

It's one of several events in such cities as Los Angeles and Chicago leading up to the national release of Bud Light Lime on April 28, a Mexican-style beer in the vein of Corona Extra. While Bud Light Lime takes its cue from Mexican culture, much of its $35 million launch will be directed at fans of indie rock, electronica and dance music.

Bud Light Lime joins a crowded field of established beers including Miller Chill, which was introduced last year by Anheuser-Busch rival SABMiller. Miller Chill, flavored with lime and a hint of salt, saw sales of $40 million with a Latin-themed campaign last year dubbed "Viva Refreshment."

The national campaign for Bud Light Lime will feature the music of multigenre performer Santogold. A remix of her song "Lights Out," as well as the ringtone, will be released online next week at budlightlime.com.

In addition, a CD sampler, with up to 18 tracks, will be released in June to tastemakers and music blogs. Tentatively titled "Bud Light Lime + Fader Presents," it will feature existing music from such indie labels as Downtown Records.

Anheuser-Busch also is attuned to Bud Light Lime's potential appeal to the Latin market. Its Hispanic agency, LatinWorks, is working on spots that focus on people enjoying Bud Light Lime in such outdoor settings as rooftops and pool parties while "Yo Marco El Minuto" by Spanish hip-hop artist Mala Rodriguez plays.

"It definitely has a Latino segment but we're not trying to say it's about any one demographic. It's a beer for everyone," Bud Light brand manager Ryan Moore says.

The competition, of course, is responding. The week before Bud Light Lime's launch, Miller Chill debuted a campaign that features the music of Brazilian singer Curumin.

In one of the spots a young man at a dance club has a Miller Chill placed before him. As the song "Guerreiro" by Curumin begins to play, a chill spreads throughout the hot club. The frozen parts of the floor stop at the feet of a dancing woman who gratefully looks for the source of the cooling effect, and once she spots him, she gives him a come-hither look.

Reuters/Billboard

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