In 1983, the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch, used all of its ad time during the Super Bowl to introduce its iconic Budweiser brand.
Since then, Budweiser has become synonymous with Super Bowl ads and even one of the most eagerly anticipated ads every year – thanks to its cute storylines that often feature funny frogs chirping “Budweiser,” charming puppies, and of course, who would ever forget the iconic Clydesdale horses?
However, this year, the beverage giant is taking a pass.
It was announced Monday morning that Budweiser is skipping its annual Super Bowl commercial slot for the first time in nearly four decades.
Anheuser-Busch said in a news release that they would be taking the money they would normally spend to air a Super Bowl ad and would be “reallocating the media investment” to raise awareness about the COVID-19 vaccine all through the year. This is in partnership with the Ad Council as well as with COVID Collaborative, a comprehensive team of leading experts in health, education, and the economy.
“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,” Monica Rustgi, Budweiser Vice President of Marketing, said in a statement. “To do this, and to bring consumers back into neighborhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.”
Though an exact financial amount of the donated time was not provided, a spokesperson for Budweiser said that it would be “a multi-million dollar commitment.”
Anheuser-Busch is the latest to join fellow juggernauts such as Coke, Pepsi Co., Audi, and Hyundai, which won’t also be advertising its biggest brand on this year’s Super Bowl broadcast. The non-appearances of these big brands are indeed just another way the Super Bowl LV will look very different from the past years.