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Budweiser Brings Back the Blimp With an Important Message

When you’re out celebrating this summer, look up for a reminder to Designate a Driver

When’s the last time you saw a blimp in the sky and didn’t get excited?

Exactly. Everyone loves a blimp, and this summer, Budweiser’s using a 130-foot zeppline to remind millions of beer drinkers to designate a driver in a really big way.

“It’s summertime, which means we’re  all outside at ball games and festivals enjoying our beers and having a great time,” says Bill Bradley, director of corporate social responsibility at Anheuser-Busch. “Now we’ll be there, overhead, reminding people to designate a driver and get home safe.”

The “Designate a Driver” blimp is in the middle of a 17-week, multi-city tour (weather-permitting, of course) and will fly over some of the summer’s must-attend events, including the Major League Baseball Home Run Derby and All Star Game, the Ohio State Fair and the Made in America concert. The airship will return home to St. Louis on September 20 for Global Be(er) Responsible Day, a celebration of responsible drinking, which includes using or being a designated driver.

This is the first Budweiser blimp to hit the skies in more than 10 years. The last time a Bud blimp took flight was in 2001, and it was one of three blimps Anheuser-Busch had in rotation beginning in the late 1980s. Today’s “Designate a Driver” blimp is the brewer’s first blimp promoting responsible drinking.

“Blimps have been around for nearly a century, but they’re still an unexpected sight and something you’re likely to point out to your friends,” says Bradley. “During all of the summer celebrations and get-togethers, it was important for us to use this giant platform for more than just branding. We hope people take our message to heart and designate a driver.”

Adults can interact with the blimp through Twitter, @budblimp, which will have updates, fun facts and share its bird’s-eye view of some of summer’s best events. Tweet your spottings and questions to the blimp with the hashtag #ddblimp.

Those over 21 and over can also visit the blimp on Facebook and at, where they can read the “Pilot’s Log” and take the Pledge to Drink Responsibly. Anyone who pledges will be entered to win a trip for two to the Budweiser Made in America Music Festival, taking place August 31 through September 1 in Philadelphia.

Here’s the blimp’s tour schedule, but know that it’s subject to change due to weather. Be sure to check Twitter or the website for the latest.


June 29-30 – Charleston, S.C.
July 4 – Virginia Beach, Va.
July 7 – Williamsburg, Va.
July 9, 12 – Baltimore, Md.
July 14 – New Jersey beaches
July 15-16 – New York City
July 23, 25-29 – Columbus, Ohio
August 2 – Pittsburgh
August 3-4 – Akron, Ohio
August 8 – Detroit
August 11-12 – Milwaukee
August 16-19 – Chicago
August 24-25 – Pittsburgh
August 29-September 2 – Philadelphia
September 5-7 – New York City
September 14-15 – Chicago
September 20-21 – St. Louis