Iconic Ads: Bud Light – Dilly Dilly

A nonsensical phrase Dilly Dilly caught the imagination of the customers for Bud Light in a quest to increase acceptance of the brand.

The objectives for Bud Light while advertising at the Superbowl were first trying to get people’s focus back on Bud Light and secondly, getting the product into the hands of customers.

Art director NJ Placentra and copywriter Alex Ledford, both of the Wieden + Kennedy New York, were brainstorming concepts for a Bud Light commercial. They wanted to do something in conjunction with the season finale of Game of Thrones.

They got a parody ready called “Banquet”. One by one, the subjects bearing gifts make their way to the monarch. All offer the king cases of Bud Light, which he accepts. It seems that the king’s guests are following suit, with one exception of one who offers “a spiced honey mead wine that I’ve really been into lately.” The king banishes him to the “pit of misery.”

Placentra and Ledford needed the king to say something “like ‘huzzah’ but not actually ‘huzzah’ “ when approving gifts. Alex said ‘Dilly Dilly’ and Placentra laughed, so they put it in there thinking we could always come up with something else later if the client liked the script.”

To Placentra’s surprise, the client loved the phrase. The director Jim Jenkins suggested using “Dilly Dilly” numerous times instead of just once as originally suggested.

“Banquet” was filmed at a church in Manhattan, New York City.

Dilly Dilly went viral. It was used in wedding speeches and toasts. It was even printed on T-shirts and used in memes. NFL announcers have also used the phrase. In November 2017, the campaign had attracted 100,000 searches per week on Google and about 45,000 per week on YouTube, NFL writers and fans have also used the terms to describe the team. During a game versus Tennessee, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger called “Dilly Dilly”. One independent beer-maker introduced an unauthorized “Dilly Dilly” ale that was withdrawn.

According to Google and YouTube statistics from November 2017, the ad received 100,000 weekly searches and roughly 45,000 weekly views on the video platform.

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