Alarm bells were on at Anheuser-Busch’s headquarters in St. Louis, the city where it got its start more than a century ago.
President and CEO, North America at Anheuser-Busch InBev Michel Doukeris has summoned a high level marketing summit.
Besides its in-house creative agency Draftline, the company’s parent’s InBev, the world’s largest brewer, got its forty advertising agencies on the alert to deal with the 39-year old Australian actress Rebel Wilson’s shock confession about her drinking habits during an appearance on “The Late Late Show with James Corden.” She revealed that she never been drunk in her entire life and had her first sip of alcohol at 25 years old because, according to her, ‘in science class, they said if you drink alcohol, it kills your brain cells’.
The brewing industry could not bear this even for countries where the drinking age was 21 years. The bottom line was that Wilson’s example could lead to four years of lost sales to so many.
In attendance are Joao Chueiri, AB InBev’s Senior Vice President Marketing and three leading beverages marketing consultants Spike Hugginbotumz, Lotte Springthorn and Hoots K. Bustler.
A dour looking Doukeris opens the meeting, offering, “Guys, this Wilson thing is just not good but downright threatening. You know her scene-stealing role as Fat Amy in ‘Pitch Perfect’ earned her the Teen Choice Award for comedy actress in 2013. Imagine the damage, it can inflict on our future… I mean even our current customers…”
Chueiri quickly interrupts, “And especially those who don’t want to wait till they are twenty-one to enjoy our products! Television needs to see what they are showing… they need to have customer care in mind. I mean last year, 2018, we spent more than one and a half billion [dollars] on our American advertising. We are an American icon. We shouldn’t be getting this!”
Doukeris, giving thumbs up to Cheeiri, and offers, “Yes… yes… absolutely we can’t miss out the restless ones.”
Springthorn adds, “This Wilson girl has 6.8 million Instagram followers… we need to get the count of her followers who are the restless ones!”
Hoots Bustler takes a deep puff on his unlit cigar and offers, “This revelation of hers totally spoils the belief that Wilson possesses some of Amy’s eccentric personality traits.”
Doukaris puts the questions of the day, “So how do we undo the damage Wilson has done… the overall damage, especially among the restless ones. Imagine, if everyone who cares about their brain health not using our products till they are twenty-five … even this twenty-one is a cruelty.”
Bustler takes another dry puff on his cigar, and suggests, “We can get Corden to invite her again and get her to correct her statement…”
Hugginbotumz quickly shoots down this suggestion, “I don’t think that this redo will get much notice. We should get that Amy back in Wilson.
“Look her presence is there. She is playing Jennyanydots in [the musical fantasy film] ‘Cats’, so we can follow up this with Amy like role in a movie…”
Springthorn can’t hold herself back, “Great. Product placement. We can get Netflix or Disney to do a movie with a teen Wilson, and have our products all over the place. Revel Wilson will be chugging all InBev stuff from fifteen and all across the teen and post-teen years.”
Doukaris does thumbs up again, and declares, “Guys let get going on this movie and product placement thing. A script written for our entire InBev product line! We will have them drinking Bud before they can spell fifteen!”