ANHEUSER-BUSCH SUPER BOWL SPOT GOES TO BEER LOBBYING

Marketer Bequeaths 30-Second Commercial to Beer Institute

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WASHINGTON (AdAge.com) –- Anheuser-Busch is turning over one of its Super Bowl ad slots to a campaign for the Beer Institute that furthers A-B's push to “enhance the image of beer,” said W. Randolph Baker, VP-chief financial officer of the St. Louis brewer.

Plans for the campaign were revealed during A-B’s fourth-quarter earnings call today, before the Beer Institute was able to announce details of the effort, under development since last year. The move comes as beer continues to lose market share to spirits.

Mr. Baker said in the call that the spot is part of A-B’s strategy to “romance beer” that is being led by Bob Lachky, VP-brand management and director of global creative. The 30-second commercial from Omnicom Group’s DDB, Chicago, carries a “Here’s to beer” message and features people toasting beer in different languages. It will connect to a herestobeer.com Web site due to launch Super Bowl Sunday.

But while the spot will be identified as coming from the Beer Institute, it is not financed by one of the group’s members, Miller Brewing Co.

“We are happy and supportive of Anheuser-Busch spending its own money on an industry campaign,” said Miller spokesman Pete Marino. “We will be making our own investments in marketing Miller brands.”

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