Michael Roarty, man behind Anheuser-Busch ad campaigns, dies

Monday, March 18, 2013 | 5:48 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Michael Roarty, the marketing executive behind many of the iconic advertising campaigns that turned Anheuser-Busch into a beer industry superpower, has died. He was 84.

The brewery and the funeral home handling arrangements confirmed that Roarty died Saturday from a heart attack suffered a day earlier at his home in the St. Louis suburb of Town and Country.

"Mike Roarty leaves a legacy at Anheuser-Busch for his brilliant marketing over many years selling the Budweiser, Michelob and other beer brands," Anheuser-Busch Vice President of Marketing Paul Chibe said in a statement Monday.

"He left an indelible mark at both Anheuser-Busch and in advertising history."

Roarty spent 43 years at Anheuser-Busch and was vice president of marketing from 1977 to 1990, retiring as executive vice president in 1994. During his tenure, the company's share of the U.S. market more than doubled, to 43 percent.

He oversaw campaigns such as Budweiser's "This Bud's for You," Busch Beer's "Head for the Mountains," Michelob's "Weekends Were Made for Michelob" and Bud Light's "Gimme a Light."

"He brought taste and elegance to beer with some of the most memorable marketing in any business of the time," Chibe said.

Roarty is also credited with the brewery's "Know When to Say When" campaign aimed at keeping people from driving drunk.

Roarty played a key role in Anheuser-Busch's involvement in sports marketing. The Sporting News named him the sixth most powerful figure in American sports in 1992, a year before his retirement.

He was elected to American Advertising Federation Hall of Fame in 1995.

Roarty is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and four grandchildren. A visitation is 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday at Bopp Chapel in Kirkwood. A funeral Mass will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Clement of Rome Roman Catholic Church in Des Peres. Burial will be private.


Like what you see here? Become a member.

Show Me the Errors (What's this?)

Report corrections or additions here. Leave comments below here.

You must be logged in to participate in the Show Me the Errors contest.


Leave a comment

Speak up and join the conversation! Make sure to follow the guidelines outlined below and register with our site. You must be logged in to comment. (Our full comment policy is here.)

  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Don't use language that makes personal attacks on fellow commenters or discriminates based on race, religion, gender or ethnicity.
  • Use your real first and last name when registering on the website. It will be published with every comment. (Read why we ask for that here.)
  • Don’t solicit or promote businesses.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report comment" link.

You must be logged in to comment.

Forget your password?

Don't have an account? Register here.