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Adrenaline is out and passion is in as Budweiser targets India's energy drink market


By Danielle Long | Acting APAC Editor

May 19, 2023 | 9 min read

Budweiser has kicked off a major campaign as it seeks to bolster its brand presence and seize a significant share of India's fiercely competitive energy drinks market.

Budweiser Beats India

Budweiser is facing off against Coca-Cola, Red Bull and Pepsi to steal a share of India's energy drink market

When Anheuser Busch InBev India (AB InBev) launched its new energy drink Budweiser Beats in India in 2021, the company declared ambitious targets to claim 10% of the market within two years.

The relatively new category was poised for significant growth; however, AB-Inbev isn't the only company hoping to grab a piece of the action. India's energy drink market has already experienced massive growth - growing eight-fold between 2017-2021 to claim a 20% share of the overall soft drinks market, according to figures from GlobalData.

Red Bull's status as the market leader, along with Monster's dominance in the category, has faced a significant challenge from the arrival of PepsiCo India's energy drink Sting, Coca-Cola's Thums Up Charged Berry Bolt, and Budwesier's Beats. In an attempt to claw back slipping market share, Red Bull India launched a new watermelon-flavoured Red Edition drink last year, only adding to the selection in the category.

Plus, with all the brands launching aggressive marketing campaigns, all of which are targeting young consumers and millennials - it's becoming something of a battlefield.

In a bid to cut through the noise, Budweiser Beats has unleashed a campaign it hopes will reinvigorate the energy drink market. Unlike its competitors, which have leaned heavily on Bollywood celebrities, Budweiser Beats is taking a different approach.

The campaign shifts the narrative from adrenaline and adventure to focus on the drink's ability to unleash creativity and innovation, according to Vineet Sharma, vice president of marketing - South Asia, AB InBev.

“Our proposition for Budweiser Beats energy drink moves beyond the traditional adventure-focused narrative adopted by the category and instead emphasizes on the cognitive energy that's essential for visionary minds. Our brand film beautifully captures the energy and passion of artistic individuals who turn to Budweiser Beats energy drink to fuel their creativity and push through boundaries," says Sharma.

"We recognize that creative minds need laser-sharp focus to unleash their potential and bring their visions to life in challenging environments and within demanding timelines. That’s why we’re thrilled to join them on this journey by offering the necessary energy boost to help them power through the exacting creative process."

Sharma adds, "With Budweiser Beats energy drink, we're here to fuel creativity and bring unique ideas to the world - represented by musicians, dancers, visual artists, or simply passionate creators. We believe Budweiser Beats will be the perfect companion for anyone looking for a superior tasting energy drink made with natural caffeine & B-Vitamins that helps to unlock ones’ full creative potential.”

The campaign is centred around a digital film which features artists, creators, and innovators drinking Beats to help them stay focused through their creative journey.

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AB InBev says the diverse range of people featured, with includes a visual artist, photographer, fashion designer, coder, and musicians, highlights the brand's "commitment to providing diverse consumers across the country greater choice and access to innovative products, across occasions". It also fits within Budweiser's longstanding association with music and creative expression.

The campaign follows Budweiser Beats sponsorship and presence at Asia's first Lollapolozza event in India earlier this year. As a co-presenting sponsor at the inaugural event, Budweiser had naming rights for the Beats Stage as well as hosting immersive events for fans.

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