More than a week before kickoff, many big brands have teased or fully revealed their Super Bowl ads online. But it is Budweiser, which won’t have its own game day spot for the first time since 1983, that has made the best play.
Thanks to a purpose-focused call to action, Bud’s ad is scoring in media coverage of who’s in and who’s out for Super Bowl LV on February 7.
What brands are running big game spots is a business story each year, but the angle has been heightened this season because of the pandemic and its economic impact. Coca-Cola, for example, benched itself after cutting 12% of its U.S. workforce in late December, likely reasoning that spending the estimated $5.1 million for a 30-second Super Bowl ad would be flagged by observers.
This week, Budweiser said it would bow out of the broadcast, but for a different reason: it has invested in a 1:30-second film called Bigger Picture, narrated by actress and activist Rashida Jones, to drive COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education. It is sharing the PSA-like spot online via earned media, digital buys and social media.