Budweiser Not Airing Super Bowl Ad for the First Time Since 1983

by Katie Maloney

Instead of airing a 30-second Super Bowl commercial that costs $5.5M, Budweiser is donating that money to another cause.

For the first time since 1983, Budweiser will not air a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, Budweiser is donating its advertising dollars to coronavirus vaccine awareness efforts. The company announced its decision today via a short video. The video is narrated by actress and director Rashida Jones and highlights the struggles of the pandemic.

As the video plays we hear Jones say, “The thing about America is we can do anything. We can turn rooftops into mountaintops, we can turn boundaries into common ground. We can turn solitude into closeness…Silent stadiums, let them hear the roar of history being written. Together, let’s turn our strength into hope.”

At the end of the video, the team announces their decision to donate to vaccine awareness. They say they are beginning by joining forces with the AD Council and COVID Collaborative. They conclude the video with “See you at the game next year.”

Budweiser shared the video on Twitter. Along with the video, they wrote, “For the first time in 37 years, we aren’t running a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, we’re helping to safely bring America back together again soon. Watch to learn how.”

Budweiser Isn’t the Only Brand Sitting Out the Big Game

 Budweiser’s announcement followed announcements by Coke, Pepsi, Hyundai, Audi, and Avocados from Mexico. However, the decisions aren’t entirely based in humanitarianism. In past years, brands filmed Super Bowl commercials in the fall, months ahead of the game. However, because of the pandemic, shooting commercials during that time was either impossible or highly expensive. For this reason, many brands opted out this year.

However, commercial time isn’t the only change fans will see at this year’s Super Bowl. Attendance at the game will also be limited. Attendance will max at 22,000 people this year, about a third of the more than 65,890 capacity of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida. Nevertheless, fans can still grab a pack of Budweiser and watch the game with their families and socially-distanced friend groups. Super Bowl LV will be broadcast on CBS. You can watch the game for free on CBSSports.com and the CBS Sports App. Tune in on Sunday, February 7 at 6:30 pm ET.