A 'Clink' and Budweiser's Buddy Cup Connects Drinkers on Facebook

Brewer also rolling out "Track Your Bud" TV campaign

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL -- Budweiser has rolled out the "Buddy Cup," a pint glass with a built-in microchip that connects drinkers to Facebook. The cup automatically connects people on Facebook when they clink glasses with another "Buddy Cup" user, creating a virtual friendship instantly. The company is testing the concept in Brazil.

The tagline for the promotion: "Buddy Cup: the more Buds, the more friends."

Ad agency Agencia Africa developed the cup in partnership with Bolha, a digital innovation studio in Sao Paulo, Brazil, according to Fox News.

The idea was to create an interactive relationship between consumers and the product, the report said

"Innovation is in Budweiser's DNA," Sergio Gordilho, chief creative officer at Agencia Africa, told The Drum. "Its platforms are constantly surprising consumers with the best there is in terms of premium experiences. The 'Buddy Cup' is another idea bringing the brand even closer to its consumers and opening new levels of interaction for them."

Separately, in a U.S.-based tech-related promotion, to help showcase some of Anheuser-Busch's strongest assets-- a nationwide system of 12 breweries, some of the top brewmasters in the business and the company's focus on using the best ingredients, St. Louis brewmaster Pete Kraemer and five other Budweiser brewmasters from across the United States are the "stars" of a new "Track Your Bud" TV campaign starting Tuesday.

The commercials highlight "Track Your Bud," a digital campaign that allows consumers to trace the origin of the beer they hold in their hands to one of Budweiser's 12 U.S. breweries, while offering a look at how the beer is made and the source of ingredients.

In addition to Kraemer, the ads feature five of Budweiser's top brewmasters--Jim Bicklein from St. Louis; Dan Kahn from Cartersville, Ga.;  Aaron Vaughn from Jacksonville, Fla.; Katie Rippel from Fort Collins, Colo.; and Dave Taylor representing Newark, N.J.

The new 30-second ads will be running on various networks over the coming weeks, including local and national sporting events and entertainment programming.

By downloading the free app or visiting TrackYourBud.com, consumers can enter the Born On Date found on bottles and cans and be taken on a guided tour of the creation of their individual beer by the Budweiser brewmaster responsible for it.

The "Track Your Bud" platform, first introduced last year, includes a social application, available on iTunes or Google Play, that integrates with Facebook to connect beer drinkers across the country with each other through the Budweiser they hold in their hand.

In addition to its flagship brewery in St. Louis, "Track Your Bud" showcases Budweiser's breweries in Merrimack, N.H.; Baldwinsville, N.Y.; Newark, N.J.; Williamsburg, Va.; Cartersville, Ga.; Jacksonville, Fla.; Columbus, Ohio; Houston, Texas; Fort Collins, Colo.; Fairfield, Calif.; and Los Angeles.

Track Your Bud also gives consumers insight into where Budweiser's raw materials come from--barley farms in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Wisconsin; and hop farms in Idaho, Washington, Oregon and Germany.

The site also details other facts about the Budweiser brewing process, including that brewmasters use the original Budweiser yeast culture strain from 1876 and still practice the time-honored process of Beechwood aging, which was commonly used by German immigrants to the United States in the 19th Century. Anheuser-Busch is the only major brewer that continues to use Beechwood aging.

Leuven, Belgium-based Anheuser-Busch InBev is the leading global brewer, one of the world's top five consumer products companies. It has a portfolio of more than 200 beer brands, including Budweiser, Stella Artois and Beck's, alongside Leffe, Hoegaarden, Bud Light, Skol, Brahma, Antarctica, Quilmes, Michelob Ultra, Harbin, Sedrin, Klinskoye, Sibirskaya Korona, Chernigivske, Hasseroder and Jupiler. It also owns a 50% equity interest in the operating subsidiary of Grupo Modelo, Mexico's leading brewer and owner of the global Corona brand. In 2012, AB InBev realized $39.8 billion in revenue.