Budweiser Platinum is Trotting out Justin Timberlake for a Little Gen Y Cred.

Budweiser may have trotted out its Clydesdales (and Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide”) on Super Bowl Sunday in an effort to hang on to its die-hard loyalists, but Bud’s old-school brand icons aren’t the only big horses in their stable. The company, part of A-B InBev is focusing heavily on the millennials—those 20 and 30-somethings of Generation Y. It is this age group that always defines the fate of alcohol brands.

Bud is placing bets on carving out an urban, hipster reputation among Gen Y with two line extensions— Budweiser Black Crown and Platinum.

Both of the new beers have 6% alcohol by volume, compared with 4.2% for regular Bud Light and 5% for Budweiser. They’re for the nighttime clubbing and party drinkers who may have no qualms about downing a whiskey or bourbon alongside a high-alcohol beer. These guys are single, and defining their own personal reputations by the brands they consume.

Just take one look at the Budweiser Black Crown spot from the Super Bowl and you’ll know what I mean.

And now comes word that A-B has hired pop-star turned actor, entrepreneur and overall music industry brand Justin Timberlake as the creative and musical curator for Bud’s Platinum brand. The trend of hiring “creative directors” as a puffed up title for “brand ambassadors” or “spokesperson” is upon us, and Timberlake is one of many (Alicia Keys, Ashton Kutcher, Lady Gaga and Beyonce) who are lending their cred among Gen Y to brands looking to relate to millennial sensibilities.

Timberlake's first ad for Platinum will run during the Grammy Awards this Sunday. The brand partnership is timed with the singer’s release of his first album in six years. The ad, titled "Platinum Night," features "Suit and Tie"—his first single from the album.

"Bud Light Platinum brings a refined, discerning aesthetic to beer that plays well with what I'm doing," said Timberlake in a statement. "I'm looking forward to not only being a part of the creative process, but in bringing other talented musicians to the forefront as well."

…And a little Gen Y cred as well.

Source: Advertising Age

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