Town painted blue for Bud Light campaign5th September, 2014 by Lauren Eads
A US mountain town has been painted blue and rebranded “Whatever, USA” as part of a big budget marketing campaign for AB InBev’s Budweiser Light.
On Friday more than 1,000 people will be flown into the town of Crested Butte in Colorado for three days of mayhem courtesy of Budweiser Light as part of an elaborate marketing campaign.
The town’s streets and lamp posts have been painted blue, blue props have scattered throughout the town and its main street has been littered with outdoor hot tubs, a sand pit, concert lights and a stage.
Restaurants and hotels have been stripped of their local markings and instead been given beer-branded umbrellas and signs.
Those chosen to attend the party have been selected from a pool of more than 150,000 people who submitted videos to Anheuser-Busch to prove they were “up for whatever.”
The plans were only revealed last month when rumours that Budweiser were building a “secret city” emerged.
However and the takeover by the global drinks company hasn’t been entirely without difficulty with many residents angered by the apparent clandestine nature of the deal to rent out the town.
One resident, speaking to the NY Times, called it “vulgar and cheap”.
Residents were initially offered a $250,000 donation by the beer company in return for taking over their town – a figure which has since been upped to $500,000.
— Eric Yackel (@eyincbco) September 5, 2014
One outspoken resident Tim Wirth, a former United States senator, said in a letter to the Town Council: “The town government is not elected to turn the town into a weekend beer hall, using public resources and public property.”
The town’s Mayor, Aaron Huckstep, said of the decision to allow the event: “Ever since we were first approached by Bud Light earlier this summer, we’ve been impressed with the creativity and level of detail they’ve put into the planning process for Whatever, USA.
“This is going to be an incredible event for our community that will help bring the beauty of Crested Butte to a 1,000 new visitors.”
“It is not every day that you have a company that comes in and says: ‘We want to donate half a million to your community. We want to hire your locals. We want to work with your bars and restaurants, ” he said.
Nick Kelly, a spokesman for Anheuser-Busch, said the town was built for this exact type of event adding: “This is a weekend that is very slow for businesses, and we’re bringing in thousands of consumers.”
The party will run from 5 to 10 of September.