Anheuser-Busch may no longer be the only alcohol brand advertising during the Super Bowl, but it will still have a big presence — even if rivals seize the opportunity after a 33-year drought.
The beer company announced Thursday that it will have three minutes of national airtime during this year’s big game, focusing on its biggest brands, including Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Busch Light. The decision to share the spotlight with rival liquor and beer companies in the Super Bowl comes after it opted last year not to renew its exclusivity deal with the NFL, reportedly worth $250 million a year.
Benoit Garbe, chief marketing officer for Anheuser-Busch, told CNN that the Super Bowl continues to be a “great way to start the new year” and that the well-watched game is a “wonderful platform to showcase our brand and creativity.” . The brand has designed some of the game’s most memorable advertisements, from the Clydesdale horses to the ‘Bud’, ‘Weis’, ‘Er’ frogs.
This year’s focus is on traditional beer drinkers, said Garbe, a linchpin from last year when it bought ads for Bud Light Seltzer, a fad that has since gained popularity, and Bud Light Next, the young low-carb beer that has grown modestly. has become. sales since launch. The latter, he said, “broke through” during the Super Bowl, but “needs time and commitment” to grow.
This year’s choice of Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Busch Light is “consistent with our mega-brand strategy of focusing on large and growing brands at a time of year with greater consumption,” Garbe said.
The Bud Light ad will usher in a reintroduction and “new era” of the brand, he said. Details have not been revealed, but one of “Hollywood’s hottest stars” will be featured in the ad. Garbe said the spot will “bring a new life and a new point of view” to the 41-year-old brand. In recent years, customers have increasingly opted for premium or Mexican lagers, causing Bud Light to fall out of favor with some beer drinkers.
Michelob Ultra, which will have two ads throughout the game, will continue to target health-conscious drinkers looking for a low carb count. Garbe said the beer is the company’s “number 1 growth engine” and will soon overtake Bud Light in sales. The ads feature former NFL star Tony Romo and boxer Canelo Alvarez.
Busch Light is also getting the national spotlight for the first time since 2017. The light lager has also seen double-digit growth over the past five years, Garbe said, and has found its sweet spot in attracting outdoor drinkers. An “iconic singer” will appear in the ad, along with the brand’s mascot, the Busch Guy.
Finally, Budweiser gets a 30-second regional ad. The ad, narrated by actor Kevin Bacon, will highlight the “stories of passionate, self-made Americans, each connected by a Bud six-pack,” the company said in a release. The beer was not chosen for a national spot because sales are “extremely regional,” Garbe said, revealing that the roughly 150-year-old brand will be relaunched this year to focus on a “younger and multicultural audience.”
Including Budweiser’s regional ad, Anheuser-Busch (BUD) has three and a half minutes in the Super Bowl (although many people will only see three minutes of ads). Garbe declined to say how much money it spent on the ads, but noted that the company spent 3.5 times more than the competition. Fox, which will broadcast Super Bowl LVII, is reportedly asking $7 million for a 30-second spot at the Feb. 12 game in Glendale, Arizona.
“We’re the largest advertiser,” Garbe said, adding that “the reality is there was no real exclusivity” because competitors have always bought ads regionally.
Shortly after Anheuser-Busch’s When Molson Coors (TAP) announced last year it was ending its exclusivity deal, he said it was “not a good idea” to buy airtime on a game that draws 100 million viewers. This week, it started teasing whether it will feature Coors Light or Miller Lite, with the broadcast scheduled during the first half of the game, according to AdAge.
Heineken (HEINY) will showcase its alcohol-free beer in a 30-second ad featuring Paul Rudd from Marvel’s Ant-Man movies. The non-alcoholic beer segment is expected to become a $40 billion industry within the next decade as more drinkers moderate their habits.
Liquor giant Diageo (DEO) is making its Super Bowl debut this year with an ad for Crown Royal whiskey. Notably, the British brand became the NFL’s first-ever liquor brand, in 2021, and was one of the first liquor brands to advertise in NFL games after the league ended its ban on liquor in 2017.
Remy Cointreau also participates. The French company bought a 60-second advertisement for its Rémy Martin cognac that will air in the first quarter of the competition. It has previously aired regional ads focused on its gin.