DILLY! DILLY! An ad phenomenon

January 15, 2018

Ever since the Bud Light “Dilly! Dilly!” TV commercial aired months ago, my brothers, father and I have used the phrase regularly to toast just about anything noteworthy… a touchdown, great news, etc. The highly popular beer commercial and its Dilly Dilly phrase have become a real phenomenon.

Since the first Bud Light “Dilly! Dilly!” commercial aired, the words “Dilly! Dilly!” have become pop culture. Part Monty Python and Game of Thrones, the Bud Light medieval-themed Dilly! Dilly! television commercial has captured the attention of its domestic light beer drinker audience.

From t-shirts to holiday decorations to YouTube, the Dilly Dilly phenomenon is here.

Even pet owners have gotten into the Dilly Dilly craze naming their pets Dilly.

Created by ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, the commercial is set in a medieval castle where a King and his court are being offered gifts from various subjects. All is well as long as the King is receiving Bud Light from his subjects and accordingly they are ordained “true friends of the crown.” One after another, subjects bring the King progressively greater amounts of Bud Light which is met approvingly with a chant of “Dilly! Dilly!”  One unfortunate subject offers the King a “spiced honey mead wine I’ve really been into lately.” Not impressed, the King sentences the subject to a tour of the “Pit of Misery.” The gag resonates particularly with domestic light beer drinkers given their dislike of pretentious, sweet beers.

Despite being totally nonsensical, Dilly! Dilly! has become a part of pop culture and a common toast of approval amongst beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike. When asked what “Dilly Dilly” means, Anheuser-Busch InBev Chief Marketing Officer Miguel Patricio answered, “It means nothing. It’s nonsense.” The initial Dilly! Dilly! commercial has spawned an entire campaign. Patricio noted interestingly that before airing, the commercial did not fare well in focus groups. Despite poor focus group reviews, the commercial was aired anyway. The popularity of Dilly Dilly has even taken the Anheuser Busch marketing team by surprise. Looks like they made the right call. Be on the lookout for a new Dilly! Dilly! Super Bowl commercial. Cheers to Bud Light on a well-targeted, engaging and memorable campaign… Dilly! Dilly!





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