BMP DDB Needham unveiled its first Budweiser work this week following
Anheuser-Busch’s international realignment of its business into the DDB
Needham network in March (Campaign, 3 March).
‘Pale rider’, a 60-second commercial, is to break on national TV on 2
December in a pounds 3 million push to boost the brand and bolster its
new position as the UK’s best-selling premium packaged lager.
The film opens with a battered truck drawing up in a neon-lit American
city. The driver, parched and dust-covered after a long stint at the
wheel, gets out in search of a beer. But the bars are unwelcoming
because of his dirty and work-worn clothes, so he drives off out of
town. After a while the truck stops at another bar, frequented by native
Americans, and the driver walks in.
At first, his white, dust-caked face causes a stir, because it resembles
a tribal mask hanging on the door post. But after the driver washes his
face, all is revealed. He is a young Navajo Indian. The drinkers around
him laugh and relax. The film ends with the familiar slogan: ‘The
Written by Simon Learman and art directed by Brian Fraser, the
commercial was shot entirely on location in the US. It was directed by
Chris Palmer through Gorgeous Films.
Mark Rapley, BMP’s board account director on Anheuser-Busch, explained
that the commercial continued D’Arcy Masius Benton and Bowles’s ‘the
genuine article’ theme, although it added a narrative structure.
‘The previous campaign featured aspects of American popular culture,
such as a blues guitarist or jazz tap dancers. We’ve moved away from
just the entertainment world and taken the theme of American life,’ he
Budweiser is currently Britain’s biggest-selling premium packaged lager,
and accounts for 24 per cent of the ‘on trade’ (consumed on the