Advertiser’s Attempt To Become Network Has Bumpy Beginning

Posted by: Jon Fine on March 16, 2007

I wrote a column recently about some interesting marketing moves from Anheuser Busch that, among other things, dealt with bud.tv, the company’s $30 million bid to program its own Web video destination. (That $30 million is bud.tv’s annual cost, by the way.)

In said column I made a fuss about how that $30 million in the context of Anheuser Busch’s overall ad budget, and even TV budget, is relatively small beer, seeing that on 2006 the company spent something almost $400 million on television ads alone, according to market researcher TNS Media Intelligence. But, still, credit where credit is due, etc: bud.tv is legitimately a bold and gutsy move.

The viewers, though, aren’t exactly flocking to bud.tv yet.

The company’s said it wants bud.tv to get 2 million to 3 million monthly visitors each month by year end. Total visitors in February, according to a Reuters story citing comscore data: 253,000.

Part of the problem, judging from what A-B’s VP for global media and sports marketing Tony Ponturo told me, is that only 10% of visitors to bud.tv’s front page actually end up registering and entering the site. (Underage drinking concerns led bud.tv to set up a fairly stringent registration process.)

Possible future problem: there’s 23 state attorneys general who want said registation process to be even more stringent.

Ponturo, for what it’s worth, says his company’s still sticking to its yearend projections.

Me, I’ve always been a bit dubious about whether new walled-off sites can draw massive traffic.

Reader Comments

Don

March 16, 2007 4:14 PM

We all know there's only one kind of walled-off video site that draws traffic.

Media David

March 19, 2007 2:13 PM

My question is always, how will they continously generate enough unique interesting content to make people want to come back and want to tell their friends to visit.
I don't doubt that the vast marketing power of AB can drive more people to the site, but will the content justify returning visits.
I would agree with you that such walled off websites will have trouble sustaining themselves.

Peter

March 28, 2007 10:25 PM

The Brand Manager for Fosters has ditched the iconic "Australian for Beer" in lieu of an affiliation w/ some kind of online dating site which is somehow supposed to sell more Fosters, go figure! Budtv, at a cool $30+mil a year follows marketers trends but is it where they'll find more customers? To fund Budtv A-B cut programs such as flag football, softball, volleyball, rugby etc., all of which occur on municipal lots = no open containers, thinking being the participants return to the nearest Bar... not. But, they also inexplicably cut perhaps their largest if only turnkey on-premise property which oversees weekly activity into 10,000+ Sports Bars (open containers encouraged!), 800,000 nights per year, generating 40+ million Patron Hours, 600+Million Impressions and over a quarter of a billion dollars in incremental sales annually! Easily the highest ROI property in their entire portfolio. So, at the end of the day, is it about flash & sizzle or actually trying to sell something?

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