Shoot Production: Budweiser’s Band of Buds

May 8, 2012
Consulting Case StudiesShoot Production

Momentum Worldwide contacted us recently about a big project they were working on for Budweiser. They had conceived a clever promotion called Band of Buds which entailed a series of gameshow-like competitions in 18 cities around the country, with beer-loving contestants vying for a chance to go to Las Vegas to compete for $100,000. Of course, Momentum needed photos to document the ensuing mayhem for a social media site that they had created – an that’s where we came in.

Woman partying with Budweiser photographed by Drew Reynolds

Photo by Drew Reynolds

Since many of the events would be happening simultaneously, they would need a lot of photographers to cover them all. They came to Wonderful Machine looking for recommendations, giving us a list of all the cities and dates. We then put together a list of photographers we knew would be up for the challenge. But our involvement didn’t end there. Momentum then asked us to assume the role of project manager. Since they had their hands full with a lot of other details, they appreciated that we could negotiate all the contracts, juggle all the schedules, communicate the objectives and creative direction to each photographer and handle all the billing as well. Momentum seemed to really appreciate that we were able to make their job just that much easier. The photographers on the project included Todd Meier, Brian Tietz, Christopher Shane, Andy Delisle, Bryan Meltz, Justin Clemons, Joe Vaughn, Josh Anderson, Drew Reynolds, Felix Sanchez, Alexander Zoltai, and Daymon Gardner – with some of them shooting more than one event.

As expected the events yielded some great pictures and memorable moments for our photographers. To give you an idea of the semifinals, imagine a combination of the classic “Newlywed Game,” MTV’s “Singled Out” and Nickelodeon’s “Double Dare.” Huge event spaces were decked out with Budweiser paraphernalia, open-Budweiser bars and a stage where groups of “buds” participated in competitions in front of a live audience and celebrity judges. The team with the most points at the end of each city’s event was then sent to the finals in Las Vegas.

Vixens Band of Buds

Photo by Drew Reynolds

Our photographers were not only responsible for capturing the fast-paced event, but also for taking staged pictures of each group against a Budweiser background, otherwise known as a “step-and-repeat.” The extremely excited buds, dressed in outrageous outfits, made for great subjects.

Vixens with their Bud trophy

Photo by Drew Reynolds

When it came to the finals, the fun really began. Momentum selected Chicago-based Drew Reynolds to be their lead photographer to document the week-long competitions in Las Vegas. In addition to Drew, we asked Las Vegas-based Jared McMillen and Jacob Kepler along with Phoenix-based Andy DeLisle to help capture the excitement of the final series of competitions. In order to be deemed the ultimate champion, each team participated in a city-wide scavenger hunt where they were awarded points for being photographed in front of famous landmarks, including the “Welcome to Las Vegas” sign. They also competed in a NASCAR style race at the “Richard Petty Driving Experience,” a zipline run, and various obstacle courses.

Budweiser racecar

Photo by Drew Reynolds

Budweiser casino night

Photo by Drew Reynolds

In the end, “Team America” from Memphis, TN took home the grand prize. Band Of Buds was a great opportunity for us to work with the talented folks at Momentum and for our photographers to work on a memorable project. Momentum let us know that we’d made their jobs (and lives) easier. And in the end, the only thing we’d have done differently would have been to advise the photographers to bring towels to wipe the beer off of their lenses.

Band of Buds Las Vegas Finals winners

Photo by Drew Reynolds

Learn more about our production services on our Shoot Production page, or by emailing me.