Budweiser and Lyft Expand Give a Damn Campaign Expanded to 150,000 Rides

Recent years have seen global beer companies embarking on responsible consumption campaigns. Among the most active team-ups, to date, is that of American ride-sharing company Lyft and brewing company Anheuser-Busch, which has made a call to action.

It may strike some people as an unlikely alliance, but Lyft and Budweiser (the flagship brand of Anheuser-Bush) struck a partnership to champion responsible alcohol consumption, and it worked.

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The two companies banked on their brand strength to encourage responsible attitudes — with special emphasis on avoiding alcohol misuse — to curb DUI-related motor vehicle fatalities every year.

Since October last year, Budweiser has stepped up its integrated marketing campaign aimed at raising awareness on the perils of drunk driving. The beer brand’s “Give A Damn” campaign has run on digital channels to amplify the key message. The thrust of working, and accomplishing things together with, a rising player in the transportation network industry – Lyft — is also highlighted.

During the start of the last quarter of 2016, Budweiser and Lyft pledged offered up to 90,000 rides home to commuters in selected states in the US. From weekend nights, the offer was expanded to Thursday nights, as well as Friday and Saturday nights. The two companies have further bolstered their successful anti-drunk driving campaign this year by offering 150,000 round-trip rides across nine US states plus Washington D.C.

Mission-driven brands

Drunk driving, as Anheuser-Busch’s ranking officials batting for corporate social responsibility believe, is 100 percent preventable. Arming people with knowledge, or reminding them that there are several ways for them to reach their destination safely, has proved to be a worthwhile undertaking. The Budweiser company clearly wants to create a positive impact, and its efforts seem to be paying off.

The brewing company has sustained advertising featuring Hollywood actress Helen Mirren in a spot entitled called “Give A Damn.” In the spots, Mirren displayed assertiveness as she enjoined people not to drive drunk. The Budweiser advertising epitomized Budweiser’s belief in shaking America to action by instilling the important message.

Casting Helen Miren in the Budweiser advertisements did not sit well with some individuals, though. A handful of netizens noted Mirren’s elegant looks and character. However, some did not believe she consumed the product and were thus not inspired nor motivated. When aired in a big event like Super Bowl, some consumers expressed aversion to the interruptive advertising.

Overall, Lyft and Budweiser’s 2017 expanded “Give A Damn” campaign may be considered a success in bringing greater attention to the ever-alarming issue of drunk driving. It reminded everyone that there are options to reach home safely – without endangering themselves, pedestrians and other individuals out in the streets. On the other hand, there are other messages that some people may pick up, like planning ahead before going on a night out.

In its own website, Budweiser has expressed that when consumers enjoy the company’s products responsibly, it translates to success for the firm. Leave it to one of America’s best-known beer brands to ramp up support for an innovative campaign like anti-drunk driving. The company has gone beyond tried-and-tested traditional advertising and ventured into strategic partnership brand marketing to further boost business.

Maintaining a good reputation

Sparking conversation through social media campaigns, coupled with enjoining the public to pay more attention to crucial issues through innovative offers like ride credits, are modern persuasive tactics that work. Such informational campaigns not only provide a public service but also reinforce brand reputation.

The #GiveADamn campaign of Budweiser has conveyed that it is more than a beer company that has run commercials on Super Bowl and has penetrated markets across the world. The campaign shows that it is a caring company that considers people’s welfare.

In an age when popular ride-hailing firms like Uber have acquired a tarnished image, creating a sustained integrated global marketing campaign like what Lyft has done can go a long way. Lyft’s safe ride home program has been regarded as very relevant. It serves a dual purpose, too – deterring drunk driving and celebrating the working drivers who help make it possible.

The public has been receptive to messages that revolve around public safety. Road-related fatalities related to drunk driving crashes, the US Department of Transportation noted, reach about 10,000 fatalities each year, comprising about 29 percent of all traffic fatalities.

Continuing partnerships

Until the end of this year, up to 10,000 round-trip rides will be provided by Budweiser in nine states, including Texas, New York, Illinois, Colorado, Florida, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Missouri, Georgia; plus Washington, D.C. Indeed, partnerships to save lives or ensure safer communities have turned out to be more than fleeting trends.

Social media firms like Facebook and Instagram, for their part, have also embraced their changing societal roles. They have done this not only by activating safety features and devising other humanitarian crisis tools, but also allowing the use of their platforms for the public safety campaigns of companies like Lyft and Budweiser. The beer company shares unique ride codes on its social media channels at a designated time and day, and Lyft customers beyond 21 years in age may claim them for ride credits.

Marketing bigwigs of Lyft have expressed delight in partnering with a like-minded company like Budweiser that shares the transport network company’s commitment and advocacy for the riding public. By adding incentives for riders, Lyft gets to ingrain in them that it is unwise to drink and drive.

The takeaway message is not to risk one’s life by becoming inebriated, driving, and running into untoward incidents that may harm others, too. Using the ride-sharing service emerges as a good alternative. By employing a strategy that was easily understood and accepted by their target consumers, Budweiser and its `safe ride’ partner Lyft underscored the importance of making the right choices that can have an impact on others.

The campaign brought considerable attention anew to Lyft, not only as a company that has gained the support of big investors, but as a fast-growing organization able to offer reliable and friendly customer experience. In sustaining their partnership, Lyft and the Budweiser company derived a value for their respective brands, while considering social interest.

What do you think of this partnership between Budweiser and Lyft? What is another campaign that Lyft could run to increase awareness? Let us know by dropping your opinion below!