July 15, 2005

This Bud’s for ‘Crashers’

By Gail Schiller

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - For its first major film
promotion in 14 years, Budweiser is walking down the aisle with
"Wedding Crashers," the raunchy comedy opening in theaters on

The brewer is running two TV spots shot by "Wedding"
director David Dobkin, and allowing visitors to its Web site to
edit themselves into the movie's trailer.

While Budweiser has some brief placement in the New Line
release, company executives said they chose "Wedding Crashers"
for the promotion because the R-rated movie was a perfect fit.

"Owen Wilson and Vince Vaughn's characters could be taken
straight from a Budweiser commercial," said Jim Schumacker, vp
creative development and branded entertainment at Budweiser's
Anheuser-Busch Cos. Inc. parent.

Wilson and Vaughn play lifelong friends who crash their way
into different weddings and different bridesmaids' hearts every
week until one of them falls for the daughter (Rachel McAdams)
of an eccentric but influential politician (Christopher Walken)
at the social event of the season.

"Wedding" marks the first time Budweiser is buying media to
support a film promotion since it partnered with Ron Howard's
"Backdraft" in 1991. Company executives declined comment on how
much Budweiser was spending on the new promotion.

One of Dobkin's TV spots features a group of young women
being briefed with clips from the movie on how to deal with
wedding crashers; the other features a man teaching his younger
brother, also using clips from the film, the art of wedding
crashing. The ads began airing last week.

Other elements of the Budweiser promotion include
sponsorship of the film's New York premiere and local
screenings in 30 U.S. cities, a special paint scheme promoting
the movie on Budweiser's No. 8 car in two NASCAR races this
month, retail promotions and exclusive content offered on

The Web site content includes outtakes from the movie, the
film's soundtrack, a "Wedding Crashers" pickup line generator
and a "Crash the Trailer" interactive editing feature that
allows visitors to the site to place themselves and a friend in
scenes from the movie trailer by downloading their photos. The
edited trailer can be saved and e-mailed to others.

Budweiser, which said it pays to place its beer in eight to
10 major studio films per year but is featured in a total of
40-50 movies a year, said it first cut a deal with New Line
more than a year ago to place Budweiser in the movie but
decided to do the commercials promotion only after seeing the
finished film.

Other promotional partners for "Wedding" include Wyndham
Hotels & Resorts, Circuit City, Tower Records, Guitar Center,
Bloomingdale's and Jane and Maxim magazines. None of the other
partners is buying media to support their tie-ins.

Reuters/Hollywood Reporter