holding a bottle of Budweiser

Budweiser forgoing American Super Bowl ads

February 1, 2021
By Melissa Parker

Budweiser is to forgo this year’s Super Bowl commercial and will redirect the investment into public vaccine awareness.

For the first time in almost forty years, Anheuser-Busch will not devote a Super Bowl commercial to its flagship brand.  Instead, it will redirect the ad spend to marketing campaigns educating the public on Covid-19 vaccinations.

Budweiser executives advised the brand would be committing $1 million of ad inventory to vaccine awareness and education by the Ad Council, a non-profit organisation that creates public service campaigns, and to COVID Collaborative, a coalition of experts and institutions in public health and other areas. It will also continue to produce multimillion-dollar vaccine awareness initiatives throughout the year.

Budweiser vice president of marketing Monica Rustgi said in a statement; “Like everyone else, we are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars, and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family.

“To do this, and to bring consumers back into neighbourhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.”

Arian Bassari, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company said about the decision;

“The ongoing closure of foodservice, bars and hotels in the US has had a significant negative impact on beer consumption in the country, and Budweiser has certainly felt the effects of the virus. Not running an ad might seem counterintuitive, given the loss of revenue, but Budweiser clearly sees the bigger picture – as long as the virus continues, the market will continue to suffer. The new regime also has a clear agenda to get the country vaccinated as soon as possible, and big brands will benefit from attaching themselves to what is very much the main focus of the government.”

GlobalData’s COVID-19 recovery survey reported that nearly one third (30%) of US consumers consume more beer since the pandemic outbreak. However, this is predominantly at-home consumption, and the loss in consumption in the foodservice channels is having a more profound impact on the beer business.

The same survey reports one in four (24%) of US consumers are buying alcoholic products at the lower end of the price range or have stopped buying them altogether due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company joins other beverage giants Coke and Pepsi in skipping this year’s Super Bowl broadcast due to the financial uncertainty brought on by the pandemic.

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