By Audrey Kemp, LA Reporter

August 1, 2023 | 5 min read

The brewer’s new ad campaign aims to save friendships as many adult men admit they struggle to stay close to their buds.

When it comes to friendships, sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Such is the reason why Budweiser Canada removed ‘Bud’ from its 147-year-old wordmark in its new friendship-focused campaign, which launched July 30 – International Friendship Day. The campaign includes a temporary removal of ‘Bud’ from the brand’s social channels, billboards and bottle labels, with “__weiser” in its place.

To bring even more attention to what the brand is calling a “friend recession,“ Budweiser made a film asking real Canadian men to consider what life would be like without their friends, followed by a one-minute-long broadcast blackout on Canadian sports network Sportsnet to encourage viewers to reach out to their friends. The effort culminated in a simple website,, that sends text reminders to connect with friends, as well as $25 Boston Pizza gift cards to the first 20,000 Canadians who sign up.

The campaign follows a national study Budweiser Canada commissioned last month. Of 1,000 Canadian men surveyed, 70% said they see friends less frequently as they get older, with 20% reporting that they don’t have any close friends. Meanwhile, 75% of men surveyed believe quality time spent with friends improves their well-being.

Creative agency Anomaly led the creative, while Dentsu handled the media buy.

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