Anheuser-Busch : Making relevant use of history
A timeline feature given a heightened prominence across the website reinforces company branding.
Anheuser-Busch, the US brewer of leading beer brands such as Budweiser and Michelob, features a universal timeline running across the top of its website pages. Covering the decades from 1850 to 2000, the feature is animated with a silhouetted horse-drawn dray (delivery) wagon that slowly advances from left to right across the decades.
Clicking anywhere on the timeline activates a Chronological History of Anheuser-Busch Companies – A Legacy of Quality in a smaller secondary window. A simple menu system allows visitors to choose a decade, a biography of Adolphus Busch or a page on the Evolution of A-B. Forward and Back arrows are provided for moving through the short datelines in each decade (for example, “1933 Budweiser Clydesdales introduced; housed in old Busch family stables”).
Timelines are commonly used by large organisations as an element in the background material on their websites. What marks Anheuser-Busch out as different is the universal prominence it awards the feature at the top of every page rather than tucking it away conventionally in the ‘about us’ section.
This is a clever bit of brandbuilding on a corporate site, where heavier or more direct marketing would be counter-productive. It is also highly appropriate to Anheuser-Busch, which operates in an industry where tradition is valued as an important characteristic in beer branding around the world. While this also adds to the ‘stickiness’ of the site for general browsers or Anheuser-Busch drinkers, the company is taking a calculated risk that it will not over-distract from the more serious content in areas such as investors, news, jobs and ‘citizenship’.http://www.anheuser-busch.com
First published on 29 March, 2005