SBD/January 27, 2012/Marketing and Sponsorship

A-B Highlighting Budweisier, Bud Light Platinum With Super Bowl Ads

Bud Light Platinum will get a pair of 30-second spots in the game's first quarter
A-B InBev's lineup of ads for Super Bowl XLVI “reflects a bit of a shift for the big brewer on TV's biggest stage,” and it “highlights two of the company's top priorities for the year to come -- reviving its flagship brand, and launching a new one,” according to Tim Logan of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. The six-spot lineup “focuses largely on two beers that A-B InBev hopes will have a very good 2012: Budweiser and Bud Light Platinum.” Platinum, which hits retail Monday, will get “a pair of 30-second spots in the game's first quarter.” A-B VP/Marketing Paul Chibe said, "The first says ‘What is Platinum?' The second is ‘Who's Platinum for?' The point is to get the word out there." Budweiser will get “two minute-long spots in the game's middle quarters,” with both to “focus on the beer's long heritage, one set at the end of Prohibition and the other catapulting through the decades since.” Bud Light will get two ads and one, produced by St. Louis-based Cannonball, is a "partnership with the NFL and the song-identifying smartphone app Shazam, and will run before the halftime show.” The other will involve “some 20-something guys, a pool party and a well-trained pet.” But Chibe said that it “has a subtle difference from many previous efforts.” Chibe: "If you look closely at that ad, you realize that the joke is not on the consumer (of Bud Light)." A-B InBev last month announced that it “had hired Chicago's McGarryBowen to lead Bud Light, and Translation, a smaller agency co-owned by rapper Jay-Z, to handle brand extensions like Platinum.” The Super Bowl ads will be “the first big work for both” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/27).

INSIDE THE ADS: AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz notes viewers “looking for a new look and feel for Bud Light under McGarryBowen will have to wait a little longer.” The in-game spot features “a scrawny rescue dog named ‘Weego’ who responds to his name being called – ‘Here Weego’ -- by fetching Bud Lights from the fridge.” Chibe indicated that with McGarryBowen having only been on the account for a month, the Super Bowl ad and “a longer term strategy shift for the brand were kept separate.” The second Budweiser spot begins where the Prohibition “tale ends and then marches through history, with people enjoying Buds along the way.” Scenes include the “end of World War II, the moon landing, the 1980 Team USA Olympic hockey victory and more.” Chibe said that the spots are “meant to portray optimism.” Meanwhile, one of Platinum’s Super Bowl spots “shows the brand being concocted in a new-age looking factory, while the other one features young professionals enjoying Platinum at the office, post work hours” (ADAGE.com, 1/27).

COVERING ALL OUTLETS: In N.Y., Stuart Elliott writes A-B, like many other sponsors, “is surrounding its spots with a presence in social media.” The Bud Light Platinum commercials “will end with a Twitter hashtag, #MakeItPlatinum,” while the "Weego" spot will direct viewers to the brand’s Facebook fan page to help raise money for the Animal Rescue Foundation. Meanwhile, Bridgestone is promoting its two spots "with three online sweepstakes and efforts on Facebook, at facebook.com/BridgestoneTires; YouTube, at youtube.com/BridgestoneSuperBowl; and Twitter, at twitter.com/Bridgestone” (N.Y. TIMES, 1/27).
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