• Budweiser Rolls Out "Big Time" Social Media Reality Contest

    Budweiser has rolled out a new reality show dubbed "Bud United Presents: The Big Time," (Facebook registration required) which lets four contest winners train for their "big time" dream with celebrities such as NASCAR driver Kevin Harvick, chef Hubert Keller and others. Entries are being solicited via Bud's Facebook and Renren pages. The project's creative team includes @radical.media and six-time Emmy winner Evan Weinstein. Big Time follows on "Bud United: Beer House," an online reality show the company launched during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

    Big Time is a perfect example of how online video and social media allow major brands to take greater control of how they interact with audiences, going far beyond the classic 30-second TV spot. Rather than the usual model where a TV network heavily guides a show's concept, scheduling and promotion, with Big Time, Budweiser has taken the reins on all of these aspects. With social media, Bud can generate awareness and interest, and with online video it has an avenue for both video-based submissions and for distribution.

    Throughout, fans are engaged with the Bud brand, which has 100% share of voice, rather than having its ads run alongside others in a traditional pod. Bud has clearly backed the project with significant resources which many brands don't have. That means Big Time-type projects aren't going to sweep the ad world anytime soon. However, Big Time will continue educating brands about the possibilities of online video and social media, prompting them to investigate how they too might shift slices of TV ad spending towards more innovative approaches.

    Note: If you're interested in learning more about how brands are going beyond the 30-second TV spot, join us at ELEVATE: Online Video Advertising Summit on Tuesday, June 7th in NYC.