The Steep Decline and Imminent Fall of Bud.TV
An article by Jeremy Mullman at Advertising Age traces the high hopes and crushed dreams of Anheuser-Busch's Web gurus, who hoped to create a Myspace-killing traffic hub in Bud.TV. According to ComScore Media Metrix, "Bud.TV drew 152,000 unique visitors last month, 40% fewer than February's 253,000 visitors."
Anheuser-Busch laid out between $30 and $40 million to attract this decaying stream of people. What went wrong? Well, just about everything. I tried to log on to this site, and was unable to (the registration software thought I was under 18, even though I'm over 50). The site is practically invisible to search engines (thanks to the reggie software). Copies of content uploaded to more accessible sites such as Youtube are wildly unpopular.
I can only wonder how much buzz that $30-$40 million would have gotten if A-B had simply empowered the millions of Bud drinkers to do something interesting with the brand, a la Pepsi and Mentos. Instead, we got a dark, impenetrable, walled-in, less-than compelling site with perhaps the scariest TOS (terms of service) yet seen in cyberspace. No wonder nobody wants to go there!