Budweiser, the beer giant whose commercials featuring Clydesdale horses, croaking frogs, and victorious pups made him one of the most popular Super Bowl advertisers, is skipping this year for the first time in 37 years to focus on raising awareness the Covid-19 vaccine.
Budweiser, an Anheuser-Busch company, announced Monday that it would donate portions of its advertising budget this year to the Ad Council, a nonprofit marketing group at the forefront of a $ 50 million commercial blitz to combat skepticism about coronavirus Vaccines. Instead of often posting a zippy big game commercial as it did in the weeks leading up to the game on February 7th, the beer company published its 90-second online vaccination ad entitled “Bigger Picture”. (Anheuser-Busch will continue to have a prominent role throughout the game, with ads for some of his other beer brands.)
Other Super Bowl stalwarts, including Coca-Cola, Hyundai, and Pepsi, will also be absent from the screen. When the pandemic disrupted the sports industry, many companies were reluctant to pay CBS around $ 5.5 million for a 30-second slot during a game that some feared could be delayed or even canceled.
In the Budweiser Covid-19 vaccination advertisement, actress Rashida Jones urges viewers to “turn our strength into hope” while the tune of “Lean on Me” is shown as inspiring images of the pandemic. Ms. Jones, who recorded her narrative while isolated from other people in a Hollywood facility, said in an interview that “people obviously want to be entertained, they want to see funny commercials,” but “the most important thing is us prioritize this next phase. ”
The Super Bowl advertising season, which typically extends beyond weeks of airing of teasers, celebrity revelations, YouTube debuts, and celebratory live events, is more subdued as companies struggle to find an appropriate tone after a year of marketing missteps to accept.
“You can’t pretend everything is okay,” Ms. Jones said. “People can feel when brands use a moment.”