Budweiser, whose commercials have been looked forward to on Super Bowl Sunday for decades, will not be airing an ad during Super Bowl LV. It is the first time in 37 years that the beer brand has opted out of running a commercial during the NFL championship game.
Budweiser announced their decision on Twitter, writing, “For the first time in 37 years, we aren’t running a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, we’re helping to safely bring America back together again soon.”
With their announcement, they shared a one and a half minute-long digital commercial, highlighting the resilience of Americans through the pandemic and looking ahead to the future with the help of the COVID-19 vaccine. At the end of the digital spot, they promised, “See you at the game next year.”
Budweiser is known for its annual Super Bowl Sunday ad spots, which have famously featured the “Budweiser Clydesdales.”
Budweiser Is Donating to COVID-19 Vaccine Education Instead of Running an Ad
In their online ad, which served as an announcement of their intentions behind not running a Super Bowl commercial, Budweiser explained, “We are redirecting our advertising dollars to raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccines. Beginning by joining forces with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.”
According to Sporting News, Budweiser Vice President of Marketing Monica Rustgi said in a statement, “Like everyone else, we are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars, and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family. To do this, and to bring consumers back into neighborhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Since the company is not paying for a $5.6 million spot to advertise Budweiser, AP News reports that they have made a “multi-million dollar” commitment to this endeavor, which will include airing educational commercials about the vaccine throughout this year.
Other Major Companies, Including Pepsi and Coca-Cola, Have Also Chosen Not to Run Super Bowl Commercials This Year
Coca-Cola and PepsiCo., competitors in the soda industry who are known to play up their rivalry in competing Super Bowl commercials, have joined Budweiser in their decision not to run Super Bowl ads this year. Kate Hartman, a spokesperson for Coke, told CNBC in a statement, “This difficult choice was made to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.”
CNBC notes that Coca-Cola’s decision not to spend on ad space for Super Bowl Sunday was likely influenced by the fact that their revenue fell 13% last year due to the coronavirus pandemic. They note that many of Coca-Cola’s sales come from away-from-home purchases, such as at restaurants, gas stations, and offices.
Coca-Cola, Pepsi, and Budweiser are known for producing some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials each year, so their presence will surely be felt by those who tune in specifically to watch the humorous and heartfelt ads aired during breaks from the game.
Although there will not be a Budweiser Super Bowl commercial, Anheuser-Busch will still be airing commercials for their other alcohol brands. According to AP News, you should expect to see ad space filled by Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra, and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer.