Budweiser suspends the NFL’s large sport to fund ads for Covid vaccines

Budweiser’s Super Bowl “Lost Dog” ad.

Source: Budweiser

For the first time in 37 years, Budweiser will not run a commercial during the Super Bowl.

Instead, the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer will use the marketing dollars to support awareness and access to Covid-19 vaccines.

As of Friday, around 39 million vaccine doses had been distributed and only 19.1 million administered, which fell far short of the goals set by the federal government.

In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to go digital with its Super Bowl ad. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of healthcare 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 ad airtime to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative for 2021. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.

The company does not give up advertising its beer entirely. Budweiser is giving US consumers 21 years and older a free beer when they visit ABeerOnBud.com between January 25th and February 7th. The other brands of AB InBev, including Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, will be in-game advertising during the Super Bowl.

Budweiser isn’t the only cult brand playing the game. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have announced that they will not run in-game ads for their lemonades of the same name. Instead, Pepsi is focused on sponsoring the halftime show starring The Weeknd. PepsiCo’s other brands, including Mtn Dew and Frito-Lay, plan to air advertisements during the game.

In a statement to CNBC, Coke said it had chosen to focus on “investing in the right resources”. The pandemic has spurred the beverage giant’s business as fewer beverages are consumed from home. Revenue decreased 13% in the first nine months of 2020.

Last year’s Super Bowl drew approximately 100 million viewers, but attracting those eyeballs comes at a high price for advertisers. A 30-second commercial during the soccer game will gross the companies about $ 5.5 million this year, slightly less than 2020’s $ 5.6 million.

Budweiser parent company AB InBev’s shares are down 14.5% over the past year, giving the company a market value of around $ 113 billion. While beer consumption at home has increased due to the pandemic, the blow to bars and sports stadiums resulted in a 6.8% drop in sales in the first nine months of 2020.

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