Budweiser suspends the NFL’s huge recreation to fund Covid vaccine promoting

Budweiser’s Super Bowl “Lost Dog” ad.

Source: Budweiser

Budweiser will not run a commercial during the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years.

Instead, the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer will use the marketing dollars to support awareness and access to Covid-19 vaccines.

By Friday around 39 million vaccine doses had been distributed and only 19.1 million administered, which fell far short of the goals set by the federal government.

In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to go digital with its Super Bowl ad. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of healthcare workers who were the first to receive the vaccine. Actress Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation”, will narrate the spot.

The beer brand also plans to donate a percentage of its advertising time to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative for 2021. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.

The company does not give up on promoting its beer either. Budweiser is offering a free beer to US consumers 21 years or older when they visit between January 25 and February 7. The other brands from AB InBev, including Michelob Ultra, Bud Light, and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, will be in game advertising during the Super Bowl.

Budweiser isn’t the only cult brand playing the game. PepsiCo and Coca-Cola have announced that they will not run in-game ads for their sodas of the same name. Instead, Pepsi is focused on sponsoring the halftime show starring The Weeknd. PepsiCo’s other brands, including Mtn Dew and Frito-Lay, plan to air advertisements during the game.

In a statement to CNBC, Coke said it had decided to focus on “investing in the right resources”. The pandemic has revitalized the beverage giant’s business as fewer beverages are consumed from home. Revenue decreased 13% in the first nine months of 2020.

Last year’s Super Bowl drew approximately 100 million viewers, but attracting those eyeballs comes at a high price for advertisers. A 30-second commercial during the soccer game will gross the companies around $ 5.5 million this year, slightly less than 2020’s $ 5.6 million.

Budweiser parent company AB InBev’s shares are down 14.5% over the past year, giving the company a market value of around $ 113 billion. While home beer consumption has increased due to the pandemic, the blow to bars and sports stadiums resulted in a 6.8% drop in sales in the first nine months of 2020.

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