Bud.tv Goes Flat

It launched at the Super Bowl and was heralded by some as the future of advertising in the digital era. But Bud.tv, just five months after the fanfare, has fallen flat. Last week, Anheuser-Busch executives said they would overhaul the project. The story of Bud.tv, a $30 million branded entertainment channel that A-B had hoped would reach young male consumers, is a case study of the promise—and complications—of digital ad initiatives. At heart, the question is whether centralized brand-content hubs are compatible with the YouTube era of instant gratification, particularly if users are required to jump through hoops just to see them. >>Full Story

Thoughts// While not directly related to AOT, the current state of bud.tv is a very interesting case study into online video, branding and consumer behavior. As the article alludes to, bud.tv was launched with a huge push via a Super Bowl TV spot and some $30 million dollars.

The content on bud.tv is really solid, as you would expect from a well known advertiser. However, the lack of social interaction with the content or the heavy-handed control of content (depending on your point of view) appears to have been the downfall of the site. Reading the article, most people would be surprised that bud.tv did not let you embed clips on your myspace page or download clips to your iPod. Both seem like a simple and some-what standard offering, but in the case of bud.tv those types of social interaction would cause A-B to loose control of the brand…something they apparently did not want to do.

So the question is how much brand control can you have without sacrificing the social sharing aspect of content?

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