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Clydesdales loyalists (this writer among them) will be sorely disappointed come Super Bowl Sunday. For the first time in 17 years Budweiser will not feature the beloved horses in its big game ad, E.J. Schultz reports. Instead, its 60-second spot will promote Anheuser-Busch's philanthropic water giveaway program. The canned water donation initiative is activated in the wake of natural disasters, like the hurricanes that ravaged Texas and Puerto Rico last year. (The Clydesdales won't be totally gone, at least: They'll be featured in a video that will run online next week.)
AB's Stella Artois brand will also focus on water with a spot starring Matt Damon, the first ad of the game to be pre-released, back in mid January.
In honor of the Clydesdales, here are some of the best Budweiser spots featuring the horses. Includes a standoff with a wolf.
And we've got a Bud Light update: The brand will air two spots in the game, one new minute-long commercial and a 30-second cut of this ad.
Check out all of the Super Bowl 2018 advertisers, plus the agencies they're using and there creative strategies.
In other beer news, AB InBev's craft beer brand Goose Island released an amusing video depicting their top execs approaching AB's marketing team to ask for a Super Bowl commercial. The big question is whether Goose Island will get its own spot next year, as teased in the video.
It may seem to some that Super Bowl advertisers are keeping their creative under wraps this year more than in years prior, but that's not the case. Newsday reports that 36 Super Bowl ads were pre-released last year and draws a contrast with the handful out so far this year. But a majority of the 2018 early releases came the week before the game.
As of Jan. 26, nine days before this year's kick-off, seven brands have released teasers or extended cuts of their spots and five have rolled out the full commercial. In comparison, nine days prior to Super Bowl LI, six had released teasers and just four revealed their actual spots (one of which was an ad that had previously run).
These days you can place bets on nearly anything involving the Super Bowl, way beyond the game itself and absolutely on the ads. You can gamble on how many times Bud Light's Super Bowl ad says "Dilly," Anthony Crupi reports.
From the Archive
Whether there's a meltdown on or a bubble growing, big-game ads often reflect the economy. Relive the dot-com boom and bust in these Super Bowl ads culled from Ad Age's extensive archives. You will never see a more solemn chimpanzee.
By the numbers
As the Super Bowl approaches, Twitter reflects on the NFL season, Adweek reports. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was the most mentioned National Football League player during the 2017 season, with more than 3 million mentions.
Don't cry for me
Bob Costas isn't upset about skipping the Super Bowl this year, Sports Business Daily reports. "Not only do I not have a problem with it, I am actually happy about it. I have long had ambivalent feelings about football, so at this point, it's better to leave the hosting to those who are more enthusiastic about it."