IF Anheuser-Busch has its way, it may not be long before consumers start insisting ”I want my BTV.”
That’s ”BTV” as in Bud TV, an online entertainment network that Anheuser-Busch, the nation’s biggest brewer, is preparing to introduce the day after Super Bowl XLI is played in early February. The network, which will be on a Web site that will have the bud.tv address, accelerates a push by Anheuser-Busch into the business of providing program content.
Advertisers becoming content providers, a practice known as branded entertainment, is helping reshape how Madison Avenue peddles wares. It reflects an effort by marketers to regain some of the power they wielded from the 1930’s through the 1950’s, when they owned the radio and television shows they sponsored.
Anheuser-Busch is joining a lengthy list of marketers turning to branded entertainment. Others include American Honda Motor, Best Buy, Cadbury Schweppes, General Motors, Krups, Nestle, Pepsi-Cola, Procter & Gamble, Stolichnaya and Washington Mutual.