Budweiser Super Bowl “Lost Dog” ad.
Budweiser will not be running any commercials during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years.
Instead, Anheuser-Busch InBev beer will use the marketing funds to support awareness and access to the Covid-19 vaccine.
As of Friday, about 39 million doses of vaccine had been distributed and only 19.1 million had been administered, well below targets set by the federal government.
In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to digitally broadcast its Super Bowl commercial. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of health workers who were the first to receive the vaccine. Actress Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, will narrate the spot.
The beer brand also plans to donate a percentage of its advertising airtime for 2021 to the Covid Collaborative Advertising Council and Vaccine Education Initiative. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.
The company is also not completely abandoning the promotion of its beer. Budweiser is offering US consumers 21 years of age or older a free beer when they visit ABeerOnBud.com between January 25 and February 7. AB InBev’s other brands, including Michelob Ultra, Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, will have gaming ads during the Super Bowl.
Budweiser isn’t the only iconic brand to release from the game. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have said they will not run in-game ads for their eponymous sodas. Pepsi is instead focusing on its sponsorship of the halftime show, which stars The Weeknd. PepsiCo’s other brands, including Mtn Dew and Frito-Lay, plan to run ads during the game.
In a statement to CNBC, Coke said she chose to focus on “investing in the right resources”. The pandemic has disrupted the beverage giant’s business as fewer drinks are consumed away from home. Its revenue fell 13% in the first nine months of 2020.
Last year’s Super Bowl drew around 100 million viewers, but attracting those eyeballs comes at a steep price for advertisers. A 30-second advertisement during the football game will cost businesses around $ 5.5 million this year, slightly less than the 2020 rate of $ 5.6 million.
Shares of Budweiser’s parent company AB InBev fell 14.5% last year, giving the company a market value of around $ 113 billion. While home beer consumption is on the rise due to the pandemic, the blow to bars and sports stadiums has resulted in a 6.8% drop in income in the first nine months of 2020.