Beck’s uses AI to create, and advertise, a new beer in experiment for future use cases
AB InBev-owned beer drops campaign entirely generated by AI to mark its 150th anniversary.
Beck’s Autonomous launches with limited edition run / Beck’s
Beck’s beer has employed ChatGPT and Midjourney to create a limited-edition beer, design the marketing campaign and build a media plan.
Released as part of the brand’s 150th anniversary, Beck’s marketing director Laura Salway tells The Drum the project aims to “spark debate and discussion” about the future of beer.
“When you see most brands celebrate birthdays, they tend to look back and it becomes very nostalgic around what you've done in the past, but as a brand, we have always pushed ourselves to be first and to pioneer,” she says.
450 cans of Beck’s Autonomous will be released in Italy, Germany, and the UK. “The idea that you can taste, touch, feel, and hold artificial intelligence in your hands is something unique about this project,” Salway says.
Salway is keen to capitalize on the cultural moment of AI hence why she selected ChatGPT and Midjourney, the two most well-known AI platforms, to partner with for this campaign. “When you talk to people in the industry and especially younger consumers there is this view that artificial intelligence is the hot topic. So, we see it at scale having real consumer relevance,” she adds.
Before deciding to run a fully AI-generated campaign, Beck’s marketing team asked ChatGPT what campaign it should create to mark the milestone. AI told the team to brew a limited edition beer with a campaign and new packaging idea, which then sparked the idea to use AI to build the entire concept, Salway recalls.
AI was used at every stage from product development, and packaging design, to marketing assets and the international media plan. The only human interaction was from the teams who looked at the responses. “The artificial intelligence has led the campaign and that's something that we wanted to be very true to and to see how every detail could be inspired within targeted artificial intelligence,” Salway explains.
The campaign is supported by print, out-of-home and social media, with AI creating all marketing assets. AI also built a microsite where customers can sign up to win the limited edition cans.
Lessons to be learned from Beck’s Autonomous
Salway has no idea yet how the consumer will react to the campaign. Will it sell out in minutes, or will it spark debate and discussion she asks? “There’s a lot of people debating around artificial intelligence, but we've just got to it and test it and see whether it's working, see how consumers are reacting,” Salway says.
Beck’s will be using the beer’s release to inform its AI strategy moving forward. “One of the things that we are already thinking about how we bring at scale is some of the design elements,” she says. “There are some design cues that we want to see how we could use artificial intelligence to help us with our visual brand identity for the future.”