Up until last year, football fans could always count on Anheuser-Busch ads at the Super Bowl. Known primarily for witty Bud Light spots and more regal Budweiser vignettes, the InBev-owned super-brewer was synonymous with the Super Bowl for decades. If the Big Game was on, so was a new beer commercial.
The brewing giant typically only advertised their beers during the Super Bowl in the past (excluding 2021, when they did not advertise whatsoever — the first time in 37 years without a SB spot). This year, though, Anheuser-Busch plans to use their four minutes of purchased ad space to promote other products.
Viewers can expect ads for Bud Light Next, a zero-carb spinoff of their flagship light beer. They can also expect ads for Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, a seltzer that tastes similar to soda. Hard seltzers, similar in taste to the classic vodka soda, became one of the industry’s fastest-growing categories in the last few years.
As for the company’s assets beyond the “Bud” moniker, football fans can expect spots supporting many other InBev brands. Cutwater Spirits, a canned cocktail line similar to the hard seltzer product, will debut its first national ad at Super Bowl LVI. Michelob Ultra Organic Hard Seltzer and Michelob Ultra offer consumers a “healthy” spin on the seltzer and beer industry; both brands will have ads, as well.
“As we look to this year’s Super Bowl, we are excited to illustrate how Anheuser-Busch is accelerating its transformation and further adapting to today’s consumers,” said Benoit Garbe, Anheuser-Busch’s chief marketing officer.
How much Ad Space does Anheuser-Busch Typically Buy for Super Bowls?
Three beers — Busch Light, Michelob Ultra Pure Gold and Stella Artois — also have spots queued up for the Big Game, but not necessarily at the national level. Busch Light and Michelob Ultra Pure Gold will run ads in some local markets. Stella Artois will be featured in a pre-game spot, as well as a few local slots for major markets.
Anheuser-Busch is usually one of the biggest spenders in the Super Bowl each year. They regularly account for around 10 percent of the total broadcast ad revenue for whichever station airs the game. Two years the company spent over $50 million in Super Bowl ad space; but, since the price of ads goes up each year, so does Anheuser-Busch’s spend. A 30-second spot for NBC’s broadcast of this year’s game costs around $6 million, plus.
Anheuser-Busch won’t completely abandon ads for Bud Light or Budweiser this year, however. The company still wants to tickle the funny bone a few times in support of party brand Bud Light. As for Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch hints that their flagship beer will get the cerebral treatment. Viewers can expect an ad that “reflects the current era,” according to the company. They want to offer a sentiment “that recognizes American resilience,” presumably in response to the COVID pandemic. Ironically enough, alcohol sales rose tremendously during the pandemic, so cheers to our American resiliency.