Bud Light’s #UpForWhatever Designs 200,000 Individual Cans For Mad Decent Block Party Partnership

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Bud Light has designed a staggering 200,000 different cans to activate its music festival alliance with Mad Decent.


Part of its continuing marketing mission to ‘create moments for life’ with its #UpForWhatever spirit, the beer behemoth links with music festival series Mad Decent with a huge fresh set of completely individual Bud Light Festival Cans.


An initial set of 31 fresh core designs were transformed into more than 31 million possible graphics using a new HP vertical printing technology – ensuring that no two cans in the release are exactly like.


This series of 31 was based on four Mad Decent designed custom labels and 27 artist-designed labels all of which were inspired by the ‘spontaneous’ and ‘unexpected’ experiences music fans enjoy all summer.





Instead of creating the cans via conventional printing, Bud Light linked with HP and used its Indigo digital-press technology and HP’s SmartStream Mosaic algorithm to tweak each can design individually according to a set of parameters set by Bud Light.


Rolling out this innovation at Mad decent is first time this technology is being used in the North America market.


Mad Decent is a Los Angeles-based record label spearheaded by Wesley Pentz, better known as Diplo, and the Mad Decent Block Party is an 18-city block party tour across the USA and Canada through summer 2015.


The Mad Decent cans are an element of Bud Light’s ‘Summer List’ program.


‘These bright, graphic Bud Light Festival Cans are like nothing you’ve ever seen from Bud Light – or any brand in the US – and no two cans are alike,’ said Bud Light VP Alexander Lambrecht.


‘The individualised cans are very much in line with what Bud Light wants to do for millennials. We know they want something unique and an unexpected experience, and I feel that they will be so surprised and inspired when they order a Bud Light and get these cans.’


Bud Light’s own creative team worked with Virtue Worldwide, plus VICE’s in-house creative services agency and Diplo’s record label Mad Decent on the project.




The objective behind this individual can design tactic is to amplify music fans’ experience with the brand and to put that innovation in the consumer’s own hands.


This project aims to tap into the millennials’ desire for unique experiences and Bud Light’s reasoning is that all 200,000 cans provide 200,000 different experiences.


‘Each time we’ve printed a label out they’re a little bit different, and that allows us to get 31 million possible label outputs from those 31 designs and ensures that no two cans printed are alike,’ said ABInBev packaging innovations manager Gina Bazigian.


Time will tell whether consumers will genuinely get excited about individually-designed cans.


‘There will be more initiatives in the future,’ said Bud Light VP Alexander Lambrecht. ‘What the scale will be, we are exploring.’


The initiative follows on from Bud Light’s recent ‘Whatever, USA’ takeovers and ‘Summer Bucket List’ campaign.


Individualised packaging seems to be the latest trend for beverage giants – as technology enables tactics to evolve from ‘feeling personal’ to actually ‘being individual’.


Before Bud Light’s music festival initiative this summer, previous campaigns taking a similar tack include Diet Coke and Absolut.


While Coca-Cola’s Share A Coke’ campaign has seen the brand rolling out 250 bottles with various people’s first names on for a while now, in late 2014 a Diet Coke initiative in Israel went one better (well, 1,999,750 better) when it individualised 2 million bottle designs.


Working with Gefen Team, Q Digital and HP Indigo, the programme auto generated all the bottle designs through an algorithm and it extended an existing campaign based on hundreds of uniquely designed outdoor billboards and point-of-sale stunts selling matching T-Shirt designs.



Absolute were the first alcohol brand to employ such tactics on a mass scale when it’s ‘Unique’ campaign created four million one-of-a-kind art bottles in a collaboration (with artists such as Keith Haring) that combined 38 colours and 51 abstract patterns.





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