Since 2007 Miriane de Castro Schmidt has been leading the media department of the Brazilian AB-InBev operation, which is the 3rd largest advertiser in the Brazilian market. She coordinates a group of 8 agencies running campaigns for 15 brands of beer and non alcoholic beverages. Anheuser–Busch InBev is the the leading global brewer and one of the top five consumer products companies in the world.
Castro Schmidt talked to Portada at the recent Festival of Media Latin America, which was held in Miami at the end of October. Castro Schmidt notes that AB-Inbev does not buy media panregionally. Brahma, one of AB – Inbev’s main brands “is different in Brazil than in other markets. It is in different growth stages in other markets outside of Brazil.”
The Cornerstone: TV and Events
TV plays an extremely important role in AB-Inbev’s media mix and so do events. Castro Schmidt notes the each major brand has an event platform that reinforces the brand. As example she cites:
Skol – SkolSensation event
Brahma – Rodeo event
Antartica- large Samba event platform
The 2014 World Cup
The 2014 Soccer World Cup will be celebrated in Brazil. AB-Inbev is an official World Cup sponsor. “It will be a great opportunity for strengthening the Budweiser global brand”, says Castro – Schmidt. While Budweiser has a strong international component, other brands will play a different role during the World Cup. Brahma will be mostly marketed as an example of Brazilian pride and the Skol brand will imply “fun with friends.”
Other brands, including Budweiser, have a truly appeal. They are Stella Artois and Becks.
Castro Schmidt expects an important increase of digital advertising in Brazil. “Right now it only amounts to 3% to 5% of investment”, she says. However, Castro Schmidt, explains that a recent poll reflected an expectation by marketers of an increase of between 5%-15% in Latin America overall.
The head of AB-Inbev’s marketing efforts also points out that digital production often amounts to a sizable part of overall digital expenditures (up to 50%) and that the cost is not included in digital media expenditures.
What the world can learn from Brazil
Asked what Latin America can learn from Brazil, Castro Schmidt answers that it is “the integration between media and creative at the agency level. Regulation in Brazil makes it compulsory for agencies to be full service and forbid the separation between media, planning and creative agencies.
Castro Schmidt sees the trend of foreign agencies buying Brazilian shops as very positive. “They bring more resources and scale, technology and research to the table”, she notes.” She adds that local Brazilian expertise is extremely important, including the knowledge about regulations, relationships and culture.
The agencies AB-Inbev works with in Brazil
Castro- Schmidt works with 6 agencies for the following brands:
Saatchi & Saatchi
Guarana – DM9
currently being pitched (new pitch, no incumbent)