Budweiser will forgo advertising in its signature beer brand during this year’s Super Bowl, instead using the money to promote awareness of the vaccine against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19, parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev announced Monday.
It will be the first time since 1983 the iconic American beer will not run a commercial during the National Football League’s championship, Budweiser said on a Twitter post. The game has become a showcase for advertisers over the past few decades, with Budweiser having produced many of the notably memorable commercials, such as a trio of frogs croaking the three syllables of the beer’s name in 1995 and the 1989 “Bud Bowl” series of ads.
“We are making a multi-million dollar investment behind marketing efforts to support COVID-19 vaccines awareness and education throughout 2021,” Budweiser wrote in a subsequent tweet.
It also announced the decision in a 1 minute, 32-second video.
Other Anheuser-Busch InBev alcoholic drinks will be featured during the Feb. 7 Super Bowl, such as Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra, and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer, The Wall Street Journal reported. Including the corporate advertisement, the company will have about 4 minutes worth of air time, about the same as in 2020.
InBev was a Belgium-based brewer that purchased Anheuser-Busch for $52 billion in 2008 and formed a new company.
The announcement makes Budweiser the third largest regular advertiser of the game to disclose it will not be running a commercial, joining soft drink brands such as Coca-Cola and Pepsi.
The AB InBev corporate spot, however, very likely will include Budweiser’s name or logo, the company said.
“We cannot talk about AB without Budweiser,” according to Marcel Marcondes, the company’s U.S. chief marketing officer, who also said the spot might even include Budweiser’s signature Clydesdales.
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