Budweiser Takes Print Grand Prix at Cannes for Cheeky Ads That Sent Fans Searching

'Tagwords' led Googlers to photos of rock stars with Bud

The 'Tagwords' campaign gave hints for searches that led to images the brand couldn't afford to license.
Headshot of David Griner

CANNES, France—Even a brand as big as Budweiser can’t afford to license images of all the rock stars who’ve been photographed with its product over the years. But Brazilian agency Africa found a fun way to still make good use of such pics from throughout history.

“Tagwords” was a print and outdoor campaign that relied primarily on large type to direct viewers to specific Google searches, which would then pull up images of rock stars drinking Budweiser.

For example, searching “1967 Monterey Audience Budweiser” will pull up a photo of Brian Jones from The Rolling Stones holding a Bud can.

Today, the campaign claimed one of the highest honors at the Cannes Lions: the Grand Prix in Print and Publishing.

Print and Publishing jury president Kate Stanners, chairwoman and global chief creative officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, said the campaign was an incredible blend of concept, execution and engagement.

“As a print ad, it’s perfect—thoroughly conceived,” she said. “I loved the way it created a journey. I love the things you can’t say they say and, in a way, break all the rules which any good beer should do.”

The only U.S. gold winner in the category was Ogilvy Chicago’s long-copy campaign “Are You Opera Enough?” for Lyric Opera Theater of Chicago.

Other notable gold winners include:

• Ikea Sweden, “Ikea Pee Ad.” Agency: Ă…kestam Holst. Media: Carat Stockholm.
• KFC, “FCK.” Agency: Mother London. Media: Blue 449. PR: Freuds London.
• KFC Birdland (Hong Kong), “Hot & Spicy Fire.” Agency: Ogilvy Hong Kong.


@griner david.griner@adweek.com David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."