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Bud Light Puts Snapchat's Age Gates to Test

Tim Maytom

Bud Light Whatever, USA: May 29 - 31 - Day 1As part of the brand's #UpForWhatever campaign, which this weekend has seen Catalina Island in California transformed into 'Whatever, USA', Bud Light is hosting a series of ads in the Stories section of Snapchat, making it the first alcohol brand to do so.

The ads will be age-gated so that only consumers who are 21 years or older can see them, using information pulled from users' profiles that are set up when they join the self-destructing photo-messaging service.

Over the weekend, Anheuser-Busch is sponsoring a series of events in Catalina for 1,000 fans who won admission to its 'Whatever' experience, including beach parties, improv comedy, outdoor adventures and hot dogs served by Snoop Dogg.

Attendees will be encouraged to share photos and videos through the Snapchat story set up for the event, with a team of Snapchat staff curating the content that will be shared with the public. The app company is also hosting a 'digital art' activity on the island for attendees.

According to Advertising Week, it is the first time Snapchat campaigns have been targeted in any fashion, and while targeting by date of birth is primitive compared to the segmentation that other channels can achieve, it is an important step forward for the company, which has been pulling in huge sums for its campaigns so far, thanks to its popularity among teens.

Anheuser-Busch has also partnered with Tinder as part of the Bud Light promotion, introducing native video ads to the popular dating app.

"What I think is really fascinating about this is that brands as content producers is changing," said Gary Vaynerchuk, CEO of VaynerMedia, the agency behind the campaign. "This is a culmination of a live activation event that's going to have a ton of content that's going to be recorded, curated and spit out natively in the way that people consumer content everywhere else."

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