Discovery is about to debut new miniseries Harley and the Davidson, but instead of partnering with the motorcycle manufacturer it will feature branded content from another iconic American company: Budweiser.
The brewer created period-appropriate bottles and signage that will be featured in all three parts of the miniseries, which airs Monday at 9 p.m. and continues at the same time on Tuesday and Wednesday. It also launched a branded heritage spot to promote the series that has aired on Discovery Channel, Velocity, Science and Animal Planet.
“It really gives you a flavor of what the miniseries is about,” Budweiser Vice President Ricardo Marques told Adweek.
Which is to say bikes, not beer.
Harley-Davidson was asked to partner on the project but declined—a move Discovey’s group president Rich Ross says is understandable.
“I think they were appropriately reticent,” he told the magazine. “We collaborated with them to be able to see their archives and museum, which they were very gracious to open. But they run a company and are hyper-concerned about their brand, as I am about mine, and we wouldn’t give them any okays on scripts or the series.”
Nevertheless, he thinks they’ll like it.
“I’ve said to them, ‘This is an homage to one of the great American stories.The three leads are heroes; they did things that are extraordinary—you will be proud,’” Ross said.
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For its part in incorporating Budweiser into a period-specific piece, the brand did its homework.
“We went to great lengths,” Marques said. “We worked with our brand historian back in St. Louis to go through all the archives to make sure we added as much detail as possible.”
The integration caps Budweiser’s “America is in Your Hands” summer campaign, where “America” replaced “Budweiser” on limited edition 12-oz cans and bottles that will be on shelves through November.
“With the miniseries launching on Labor Day,” Marques said, “we can’t think of a better way to end the summer than by raising a cold one to an iconic American brand like Harley-Davidson.”
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