Budweiser’s Marketing Evolution: Clydesdales Take a Holiday Backseat


Budweiser’s Holiday Shift: Clydesdales Step Aside in Marketing Strategy Evolution

The iconic Clydesdales, long synonymous with the brand’s festive campaigns, will not be featured in their holiday ads, marking a significant shift in their marketing strategy. In a departure from tradition, Budweiser, the renowned beer brand, has announced a notable change in its holiday advertising this year.

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Credit: Andrea Melendez

The decision to exclude the beloved Clydesdales from the holiday advertisements was confirmed by Anheuser-Busch InBev, the brand’s owner, signaling a departure from the customary imagery associated with Budweiser’s seasonal celebrations. While details regarding the Clydesdales’ appearance in Super Bowl ads remain uncertain, the absence of these majestic horses in the holiday marketing spotlight is a significant departure from tradition.

Credit: Paul Keleher

Reported by the Wall Street Journal, this alteration in advertising tactics reflects a larger trend in Budweiser’s response to evolving consumer preferences. The brand’s market share has witnessed a decline, notably since its peak in 1988. According to Beer Marketer’s Insights, Budweiser’s share fell to 7.6 percent last year from 14.4 percent a decade ago, a shift attributed to the rising popularity of light and craft beers.

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Eric Shepard, executive editor of the industry tracker, emphasized the changing landscape, noting, “We have this huge group of young drinkers, almost half of them have never tried the brand.” This demographic shift has prompted Budweiser to reevaluate its marketing strategies to resonate with evolving consumer preferences.

Also: The Majestic Clydesdale: A Celebration of Strength and Elegance

Amidst this transition, Budweiser has unveiled its ‘Holiday Crates,’ showcasing an 18-pack of Budweiser bottles tied to a nostalgic nod to its post-Prohibition history. The advertisements spotlight younger individuals dedicating these brews to their loved ones, symbolizing a modern twist on holiday traditions.

The Clydesdales have stood as enduring symbols of Budweiser’s heritage since 1933, symbolically introduced to commemorate the end of Prohibition. Their absence in this year’s holiday marketing campaign signifies a strategic pivot as Budweiser seeks to connect with contemporary audiences while honoring its historical legacy.


As Budweiser navigates this changing landscape, the decision to reframe their holiday advertising underscores a concerted effort to evolve and engage with a new generation of consumers, marrying tradition with a contemporary narrative in the competitive beverage market.

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