SBD/Issue 87/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

A-B Using Super Bowl To Re-focus Budweiser’s Brand Image

Humor From Bud Light Ads To Spill
Over Into Budweiser’s Super Bowl Spots
CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl XLI “will mark Budweiser’s return to a humorous style of ad it was once famous for,” according to Suzanne Vranica of the WALL STREET JOURNAL. Budweiser has recently “focused on ads promoting the quality of its brew, leaving the funny spots” to Bud Light. Among ads under consideration for the Super Bowl is one that shows “some smart-aleky crabs making off with a cooler of Budweiser from a group of unsuspecting bikini-clad women.” In addition to the humorous spots, one being considered features the Clydesdales. The return to “lighter overtones in its ads coincides” with A-B Exec VP/Global Industry Development Bob Lachky’s return to the top marketing spot at the company. Lachky: “We have so many things like heritage and quality in the image bank already; there is no need to pound that theme right now again” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/25). USA TODAY’s Petrecca & Horovitz report Budweiser, “which has been losing market share domestically for several years,” will get more Super Bowl ad time than it has recently. The Bud brand is “being re-billed as a ‘world’ beer.” One ad for Bud shows an American and a Russian astronaut celebrating with a Bud. Other potential A-B spots feature Jay-Z and Pro Football HOFer Don Shula playing “football-themed chess,” and NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. “being chased in his race car by an angry gang of Mad Max-type hooligans” (USA TODAY, 1/25).

DDB: In Chicago, Lewis Lazare reports that as many as six of the eight or more spots A-B is considering for this year's Super Bowl come from DDB, Chicago. Last year, all of A-B’s Super Bowl spots were from DDB. Meanwhile, a “new twist for A-B this year is four 10-second animated billboard commercial inserts with pre-recorded copy — two in the first half and two in the second half. Two of the four will “encourage viewers to drink responsibly, and two will tout A-B’s new online venture Bud TV, which goes live the day after the Super Bowl” (CHICAGO SUN-TIMES, 1/25). A-B will also text message fans during the Super Bowl asking them to vote for their favorite ads (USA TODAY, 1/25).

A-B Could Use Mencia
In Bud Light Spot
BUD LIGHT: THE WALL STREET JOURNAL’s Vranica notes Bud Light spots under consideration include one with Latino comedian Carlos Mencia “teaching a room of immigrants how to say ‘Hey fella, give me a Bud Light’ with a Southern drawl.” Another features a husband suggesting to his wife that they pick up a hitchhiker since he has a Bud Light. The woman says, “He has an axe!” (WALL STREET JOURNAL, 1/25). Lachky said that the overlap with the hitchhiker spot and the movie, “The Hitcher” was “coincidental” (AP, 1/25).

MORE ADS: In Portland, Helen Jung reports Wieden & Kennedy will have three ads for Coca-Cola in the game, one of which is new. It will mark the agency’s first Super Bowl ad effort since an AOL spot in ’04 (OREGONIAN, 1/25). CBS President of Network Sales JoAnn Ross said that with two black head coaches competing in the Super Bowl for the first time — the Bears’ Lovie Smith and the Colts’ Tony Dungy — “one marketer is adding to its ad time for a Black History Month spot.” Meanwhile, Sprint VP/National Advertising Mike Goff said that his company “is returning with a humorous spot” to promote mobile broadband (USA TODAY, 1/25).
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