After a year of ill-advised marketing ploys, Bud Light parent Anheuser-Busch will attempt to win back consumers with a lighthearted, back-to-basics Super Bowl commercial.

The 12-second teaser spot, revealed exclusively to USA TODAY Ad Meter, promises to forgo social engineering and return to comedy, sports, and beer drinking.

U.S. sales of Bud Light plunged in 2023 after its traditional consumers balked in response to the company’s short-lived sponsorship of transgender influencer Dylan Mulvaney. Mexican lager Modelo Especial took over as the top-selling domestic beer over the summer.

“We need to make sure for these moments of massive reach that we choose the right brands to meet the moment, not only on the TV screen, but brands that can really scale out the opportunity that Super Bowl and the NFL playoffs and everything else provide,” said Kyle Norrington, Anheuser-Busch’s chief commercial officer. “These are the brands that we thought deserve that opportunity this year.”

This year’s Super Bowl ad will introduce a new character into the Bud Light universe while sticking with the “easy to drink, easy to enjoy” marketing reset Bud Light has pushed over the past year, Norrington said.

“You’re going to see what … our brand lovers expect, which is some really funny advertising,” he said.

The Super Bowl partnership between Anheuser-Busch and the NFL dates to 1975 and was exclusive until 2022. While Budweiser will typically lean more sentimental in its spots with Clydesdales and American flags, Bud Light has always been willing to be more playful.

Even if successful, Bud Light’s efforts to rebrand might be in vain as the Super Bowl ad comes before a planned strike by the Teamsters at 12 U.S. Anheuser-Busch breweries in the U.S. if they do not have a new contract by Feb. 29.

“Without a contract by February 29, there won’t be any beer come March,” the Teamsters warned on X.


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