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Natty Light is committing $2m to student loan payments


By Minda Smiley | Reporter

May 14, 2018 | 4 min read

College staple Natural Light – known affectionately as Natty Light – is celebrating graduation season with a monetary gift: the cheap beer brand is giving away $2m to help grads across the country repay their student loans.

Natty Light

Starting next year, Natty Light will commit $1m to college debt repayments. In the meantime, the Anheuser-Busch brand is asking Twitter to help take that number to $2m with a simple retweet. Each time someone retweets the message below, Natty Light will donate an additional $1 to the cause. The brand is spreading the word about its investment via out-of-home advertising.

The initiative is an extension of the Natty Light’s Super Bowl LII campaign, which launched the brand’s college loans program. During its 30-second Super Bowl spot, which aired in 10 college towns, the brand announced its plans to give away $1m to college students and recent grads this year. A total of 25 former and current students each received $40,000 to pay off their debt after posting videos to social that explained their “inspiration for going to college.” According to Natty Light, the brand received more than 2,000 of these submission videos.

Daniel Blake, senior director of value brands at Anheuser-Busch, said Natty Light hasn’t yet decided how it will divvy up the $2m next year.

“We have not determined yet how Natty Light will be giving away the money in 2019 towards college loans,” he said. “We are eager to see how people react to Monday’s tweet, and focused first on raising even more awareness of this crippling issue in America.”

He said the first phase of the campaign was “incredible,” with people from “all walks of life” sharing what college means to them.

“We had over a couple thousand entries, but more so than that was the quality of people who submitted videos. We had Ryan from New Jersey as one of our first winners, who’s the camp director for a camp for kids with cancer. Now that his loans are paid off, he’s going to go back to school, earn his MBA, and use that business education to expand his camp’s mission with a location in Florida,” he said.

After a successful first run, the brand is now hoping to further spread the word about the college debt crisis and what it’s doing to help through its Twitter activation and out-of-home campaign.

“There’s a long way to go with the colossal issue that is college debt in America,” said Blake. “That’s why we’re doubling down in 2019, with the hopes of giving away $2m. But, the money only makes a minor dent. Bringing it to Twitter, generating more awareness, buzz and conversation around this college debt issue, will have the greatest effect overall.”

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