Could Budweiser's Ground Cooler Help Save the Planet?
Summer hasn't even begun, but already heat waves of up to 109°F are roasting different parts of the world. Less wealthy countries will be hit hardest: 48 percent lack regular access to electricity. Over the past 10 years, demand for cold beverages in these areas rose by 14 percent.
With all this in mind, Budweiser partnered with BETC Paris and the design team at Frog to create the Bud Ground Cooler, a sustainable, electricity-free fridge that can cool below 42.8°F.
"For this innovation, we have modernized a traditional underground cooling solution and pushed it further. How? We placed 9 cylinder clay pots, that hold the beverages, 4 meters below the ground where the air is refreshed by evaporation," explains Babatope Aiku, sustainability engineer at Frog.
Techniques introduced by ancient Egyptians and Indus Valley civilizations inspired the Ground Cooler. While this is great marketing for Bud, it's also practical for all kinds of drinks, and even provides a refreshing place to congregate.
Aiku continues, "With new ultra-performing clay cylinder pots, we have doubled air circulation, increasing freshness. The fresh air below ground is cooled even more, thanks to an air current that goes through a mast that sits 4.5 meters high, in a process known as the Venturi effect. The Bud Cooler is sustainable and cools up to 300 drinks below 6 degrees. There have been many attempts to modernize the system, but this is the only one that works below 6°C without the need of a power supply."
We're reminded of AB InBev's Arequipeña brand in Peru, which used its own UV-protective bottles to create sun-shielding tiles. Could beer be our unlikely savior against the incoming realities of climate change?
"Instead of investing in traditional media like billboards, we have used those funds to install these branded coolers in local businesses. This way, we can promote our brand in a way that is useful for communities," says Tim Moerman, sustainability and ESG director at Budweiser. "This is a groundbreaking and completely autonomous system. That's why Budweiser is installing the Bud Cooler across the remotest regions in Morocco, and will expand into other countries, such as Turkey."
The question we asked above—about whether beer could be our unlikely savior—isn't entirely tongue-in-cheek. Global warming is a problem that requires whole-system solutions. Under capitalism, communities and governments are often subject to the whims of corporations. Our health is tied to the economic interests of nations, and economies are conflated with the well-being of ordinary people (though they generally override the latter).
If companies don't take care of us, it doesn’t appear anyone will. What's cool about Bud's Ground Cooler is that it provides a blueprint for what landowners or small communities could do as climate crisis, war and economic volatilities continue wreaking havoc in the years to come.
CAMPAIGN: BUD GROUND COOLER
CLIENT - FREDERIC VANDERSMISSEN
ADVERTISING AGENCY - BETC
ACCOUNT TEAM - VALERIE DHOTEL-FRANCES
- HUGO GHIGLIA
- ALICE TAKAGI
- LAURA TEBOUL
CHIEF CREATIVE OFFICER - STÉPHANE XIBERRAS
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR - ALASDHAIR MACGREGOR
CREATIVE DIRECTOR - DAVID MARTIN ANGELUS
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - JULIEN LEFEVRE
ASSISTANT ARTISTIC DIRECTOR - ELOISE LEVEQUE
COPYWRITER - DAVID CAMPESE
TRAFFIC - ELODIE DIANA
PRODUCTION - JEREMIE VITARD, BENJAMIN PRZESPOLEWSKI, JULIEN LACOUTURE
DIRECTOR - RAPHAEL AUPY