SBD/January 11, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

A-B To Tout Black Crown, Sapphire In Super Bowl Ads Alongside Stalwarts Bud, Bud Light

Beck's Sapphire's 30-second ad will run sometime after halftime of the game
Anheuser-Busch unveiled its planned commercial lineup for CBS' broadcast of Super Bowl XLVII, and the roster will include a "double dose of Budweiser Black Crown and a sip of Beck’s Sapphire,” according to Tim Logan of the ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH. Black Crown, a new drink going on sale later this month, will get “a key slot as the first ad to air after kickoff, and another 30-second spot later in the game.” Sapphire will get “its own 30-second introduction.” A-B also “plans two 60-second ads for Bud Light and one for Budweiser,” for a total of “4½ minutes of airtime.” The company is “not skimping on production values” as it hired Sam Bayer, who "directed Chrysler’s highly regarded 2011 ad starring Eminem, to direct its Black Crown ads and one for Bud Light.” The 60-second spot for Budweiser is titled “Brotherhood” and will “focus on the heritage of the Clydesdales and their early years.” The Bud Light ads will "continue what has been a subtle shift in the last few years, away from sometimes-sophomoric ads where the beer consumer is the butt of the joke, and toward ones where the consumer is in on the joke.” A-B VP/Marketing Paul Chibe: “The humor will be based on a human truth, not just a sight gag in a commercial. There’s more to it than just a guttural laugh because someone got kicked” (ST. LOUIS POST-DISPATCH, 1/11). AD WEEK’s Andrew McMains notes Budweiser lead agency Anomaly, N.Y., produced the two Black Crown ads. Chide said that the first spot “explains how consumers picked the recipe for the new lager and the second places the brand in a party setting.” Chide said that Beck's lead shop, Mother, produced the Sapphire ad that is "both humorous and stylistic.” The Sapphire name “comes from the name of the hops used to produce the beer,” and also is a type of jewel. Thus the ad “seeks to answer the question, How would a jeweler launch a beer brand?” (, 1/11).
MORE DETAILS: AD AGE’s E.J. Schultz reports one of the Black Crown Super Bowl ads is “expected to include a scene of a brewmaster saluting a group of American beer drinkers.” Two 15-second "teaser ads" will run during the NFC and AFC Championship games for Black Crown, which Chibe referred to as a "modern expression" of Budweiser. The Sapphire spot “will run sometime after halftime.” The two Bud Light ads, via Translation, will continue the NFL-themed "Superstitous" campaign and both are "set in New Orleans.” The Super Bowl will be played at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Schultz writes it is “somewhat surprising that A-B InBev did not choose to plug Platinum during the Super Bowl,” as it debuted the drink during last year's game. But the brand is “likely to get more airtime soon -- perhaps during an upcoming winter awards show such as the Grammys” (, 1/11).

DRINK TO THIS: USA TODAY’s Laura Petrecca notes Super Bowl XLVII will be “overflowing with beverage promotions.” In addition to A-B, other beverage-product advertisers during the game include Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, MiO and home soda-making machine seller SodaStream. Most of the beverages will “leverage the splashy game ads with Super Bowl tie-ins via social media and in-store promotions.” Meanwhile, Pepsi and A-B, which are both NFL sponsors, are “combining their brand power for joint retail displays.” Pepsi’s soft drinks, as well as “its chips such as Doritos, will be touted alongside A-B’s brews” (USA TODAY, 1/11).
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