When Weird Advertising Works: The Budweiser Frogs

There are certain commercials that come along that are funny at first but then sort of become a pop culture staple and, thus, become almost annoying in a sense. One of the most popular ones debuted in 1995 and features three speaking frogs.

“Bud. Weis. Er.”

budwiser-frogsSound familiar?

These commercials featured three fogs in a pond, usually sitting just outside of a bar. Later in the series, they also featured a lizard.

The Budweiser frogs become so popular that they eventually had more than a dozen commercials. There was even something of a storyline to them to some extent. Truth be told, there was nothing overly funny about the commercials. And the concept of talking animals is nothing new. Still, the commercials caught on ad became one of Budweiser’s most successful advertising campaigns.

At the time, these were some of the most original commercials on television, and certainly the best that Budweiser had ever done. They were so popular and so successful that a single commercial was able to be expanded into several others, taking up nearly three years of air time for Budweiser.

One of the more successful aspects of these commercials was the fact that it spun off into more than just promoting Budweiser’s product. Sure, it was a great way to make Budweiser beer memorable, but the frogs went viral (before “going viral” was an actual thing).

There were shirts, hats, plush toys, posters…you name it, and the frogs were on them. And they sold very well. By being able to sell merchandise featuring the frogs, Budweiser also created an additional revenue stream. The commercial not only helped to sell beer, but it also helped to create and push all of those frog-heavy products.

The frogs are still memorable today, making these commercials some of the most effective in the history of the beer market. It’s a great example of how finding something original and that will resonate with your audience will stand the test of time and help promote your business.

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