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Testing bud’s superbowl ads

February 1, 2005

Many people have predicted the demise of the focus group, but some of the nation’s largest advertisers still passionately believe they still have a role to play. One such advertiser is Anheuser-Busch.

An interesting piece from the St Louis Dispatch about Bud’s plans for this year’s Superbowl. This year, they will run 12 to 15 spots during the Bowl. Testing them is quite a process that involves running focus groups with a difference.

The brewer is clearly keen to run the spots in an environment that closely resembles a Superbowl party, think 30/40 people per session, we are not sure if they are allowed to drink during these sessions. However, to know what to run, they conduct around 20 of these sessions across the country, testing a total of 30 finished spots. The ones that rise to the top in the voting poll, they run.

The process seems smart because it tries to get as close to the real viewing experience as possible. However, some things about the testing are always going to be unrealistic, like seeing 30 Bud spots in a row and seeing them sober.

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