CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- Reports of the Clydesdale's demise may have been premature.
Just a day after previewing its Super Bowl advertising lineup -- sans the storied Scottish horses for only the third time in 15 years -- for the national media, Anheuser-Busch is paving the way for its icons to gallop back into the big game, consumers willing.
VP-Marketing Keith Levy said A-B received a new edit of a previously rejected Clydesdale spot (from Budweiser agency DDB) shortly after it finished briefing media members on its plans yesterday. The news stories that followed the briefings all noted the absence of the Clydesdales, and many drew negative feedback.
(Ad Age's story, which spent more ink on DDB's failure to land a single Bud Light spot in the game this year, drew 16 reader comments, nine of which lamented or criticized the decision to not feature at least one Clydesdale spot in the game.)
So, sparkling new edit in hand, Mr. Levy now says the company will post the Clydesdale spot, along with two competing ads, on Budweiser's Facebook page this morning.
If consumers want the Clydesdales, Mr. Levy said, they'll have them.
This, potentially, could work out to be a pretty nice PR coup for A-B.
In addition to loads of attention in the national media and blogs over its decision to leave the Clydesdales in the barn this year, it now stands to reap an added PR blitz hailing the horses' triumphant return. And it would have engaged thousands of its consumers via social media in the process.
Might the brewer have planned it this way all along?
"I wish I was that smart," said Mr. Levy.