SBD/January 22, 2014/Marketing and Sponsorship

Bud Light Taps HOFer Bruce Smith To Star In PSA Warning Against Drunk Driving

Smith's PSA will be posted on Facebook and YouTube but will not be broadcast
Pro Football HOFer Bruce Smith -- a "convicted drunken driver -- is about to appear in a Bud Light public service ad to urge folks not to drink and drive on Super Bowl Sunday," according to Bruce Horovitz of USA TODAY. The PSA, which Anheuser-Busch will "post on its Facebook page and YouTube channel, will not be broadcast." But it is expected to be "widely shared on social media, if only because it is the brewer's first message featuring a celebrity convicted of drunken driving." Smith said, "The object of this campaign is to focus on Super Bowl Sunday and encourage people who plan to drink to have a game plan. Anheuser-Busch is trying to make it a safer experience for all fans." Smith, who is being paid by A-B for his appearance, said that he has "not been in an A-B spot before, but was in a Coors Light ad years ago." Smith was arrested in '09 and said that now when he "goes out with friends, he has a designated driver" (USA TODAY, 1/22).

VERY SUPERSTITIOUS: AD AGE's Rance Crain noted Bud Light is featuring NFL teams in its ads "that least need to rely on fans' superstitions" -- the Seahawks, Patriots and Broncos. Such "confusion might explain why the 'It's Only Weird' campaign is such a failure." Crain: "I'm not sure it's a good thing for a beer company to aim its ads at the weirder activities of its drinkers. I know the object is to have them come off as lovable losers, but there's a fine line between weird and lovable" (AD AGE, 1/20 issue).
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