SBD/Issue 100/Sponsorships, Advertising & Marketing

Super Bowl Ads: A-B Reverses Course, Plans To Air Clydesdale Spot

Watch A-B InBev's Super Bowl
Spot Featuring The Clydesdales
Anheuser-Busch InBev Thursday said that it has "reversed its decision to bench the Clydesdales from its 2010 Super Bowl advertising lineup -- what would have been the horses' first no-show in at least eight Super Bowls," according to Todd Frankel of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The brewer will air a "reworked, 60-second Clydesdale spot in the fourth quarter" on Sunday. A "surge of criticism followed last week's unveiling of A-B's nine Super Bowl ads." While the brewer "purchased five minutes of the pricey ad time," the attention "focused on what was missing -- the Clydesdales." A-B said that a Clydesdale ad "had fallen short in focus group tests," but "two days later, facing public outcry, A-B came up with a solution." The brewer "would show a recut Clydesdale ad," via DDB Worldwide, Chicago, and "two other Budweiser ads on its Facebook page, and ask for public input." It was "clear from the more than 3,000 comments that the Clydesdale spot was the favorite." The ad "follows a Clydesdale and a bull as they grow up on opposite sides of a pasture fence." By adding the spot, A-B was "forced to shuffle its Super Bowl lineup," and "one of five Bud Light ads ... was cut." A-B also dropped a Budweiser spot titled "Payment" (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 2/5). In San Diego, Peter Rowe writes the announcement that the Clydesdales will be featured during the Super Bowl was "less shocking than predictable." Ad Age's Jeremy Mullman said it was a "little convenient." Rowe: "Convenient and a possible way for Anheuser-Busch to get more bang for its Super Bowl bucks." Companies "increasingly ... seek to send consumers online to review or critique the ads," which Mullman said "generates hundreds of thousands of impressions after the game" (SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 2/5).

ALL-OUT MARKETING BLITZ: USA TODAY's Bruce Horovitz writes Super Bowl marketing is a "multimedia shopping binge" for A-B. The brewer is the game's largest advertiser with the five minutes of air time, and A-B also bought "animated 'billboards' in each of the quarters, when quick nods will be given to an A-B brand within the game." It also has "paid for six on-air 'mentions' of brands to be made when the overhead blimp shows aerial views of Miami, where the Super Bowl is being played." The brewer has Super Bowl "ad teasers and outtakes on its Facebook pages for Bud Light and Budweiser." Meanwhile, A-B has "temporarily taken over the Surfcomber Hotel in the South Beach area of Miami and renamed it the Bud Light Hotel" (USA TODAY, 2/5).

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