What ‘Dilly Dilly’ means — and how Bud Light came up with its viral campaign

If you’ve seen or heard the phrase “Dilly Dilly” at your local pub or on social media in the last few weeks, you can thank Bud Light for turning the phrase into a cultural phenomenon. The company launched a series of ads created by the Wieden+Kennedy ad agency that has gone viral, thanks to their constant appearances during commercial breaks in NFL and college football games.

Recently at Business Insider’s IGNITION conference in New York, we got to chat with the man ultimately responsible for the “Dilly Dilly” campaign: Anheuser-Busch InBev Chief Marketing Officer Miguel Patricio. We asked him about the origin of the campaign and — with the Super Bowl looming — if the brand has any plans to make any new “Dilly Dilly” ads. Following is a transcript of the video.

Graham Flanagan: What the hell does “Dilly Dilly” mean?

Miguel Patricio: “Dilly Dilly” doesn’t mean anything. That’s the beauty of it. I think that we all need our moments of nonsense and fun. And I think that “Dilly Dilly,” in a way, represents that. A lot of people asked me, “How did you approve that?”

[You can thank this man for the “Dilly Dilly” campaign. He’s the Chief Marketing Officer of AB InBev]

To tell you the truth, we never expected this to be so successful. It didn’t test that well. We did that ad, actually, because of – the new season of “Game of Thrones” coming, but when we tested, it didn’t test that well. We said, “Consumers will get it.”

And especially with repetition. We have a chance here for this to become big. So, we went against the research and we gave a chance to “Dilly Dilly” and we are so happy!

[The spot was created by the Wieden+Kennedy ad agency]

I think that one of the proofs of success,  nowadays, from a cultural standpoint, is when you go to Amazon and you don’t do anything, there are people already selling t-shirts. Two weeks ago, I went on Amazon. There were like ten different types of “Dilly Dilly” t-shirts. I said “Yes! That’s it!”

It becomes a cultural currency.

Flanagan: You’re suing all those people, right?

Patricio: No, no. We want everybody to “Dilly Dilly” in their life, so no problem. We are gonna bring more fun, more Dilly Dillys … Super Bowl is pretty close. Maybe we’ll surprise you with a Dilly Dilly soon. I don’t know. Maybe!