The decade's 5 funniest brew ads, in celebration of International Beer Day
Today is International Beer Day, which gives you permission to head to the bar—erm, the kitchen—and throw back a cold one after work. Since its inception in 2007, the holiday has outgrown its Santa Cruz, California roots to be celebrated in more than 200 cities on every inhabited continent.
Advertising analytics firm Ace Metrix routinely surveys commercials as they debut to gauge the public’s reaction to them, and over the past 10 years has polled consumers about more than 1,700 beer ads from brands around the world.
According to beer drinkers—defined as consumers over 21 who drank at least one brew in the 30 days before being surveyed—these are the five funniest beer ads from recent years:
Bud Light, "Vendor" (2017)
Ranked as 2017's most hilarious beer ad, according to Ace Metrix analysis, Bud Light’s 45-second “Vendor” spot from Wieden+Kennedy extrapolates on a Bud drinker’s wish to have a stadium hawker on demand. However, his fantasy quickly backfires as the vendor’s “Ice cold Bud Light here!” rings out everywhere from business meetings to funerals to his bedroom in the middle of the night.
Tecate Light, "The Boldest Six Pack" (2019)
Coming in second place is a light-hearted Tecate Light as created by Mexican agency Nomades. In this 30-second commercial, two beer-bellied dudes are manning a barbecue and vying for the attention of a beautiful woman—who they attempt to court by giving themselves six-pack abs drawn with charcoal soot. With no words spoken in the ad until the brand’s tagline at the end, it’s the perfect cross-cultural spot from a brand that often targets U.S. Hispanic markets.
Michelob Ultra, "Jimmy Works Out" (2020)
Debuting during Super Bowl LIV earlier this year, this spot from FCB aims to maintain low-calorie Michelob Ultra’s reputation as a fitness beer. Starring late night host Jimmy Fallon alongside pro wrestler John Cena (plus a host of other celebrity athlete cameos), this 60-second commercial shows “the lighter side of things” while Fallon tries, and often struggles, to get through a series of workouts from sprinting to golf to beach volleyball.
Busch, "What Beer is That" (2019)
This 30-second ad from creative shop Deutsch asks you to pick the more refreshing of two beers, judged only by the sound made when cracking open the cans. The first brew, ostensibly a Coors Light with the logo blurred, makes a wimpy crackle. The second—a can of Busch—makes deep, hearty “Buschhh” sound effect cued by triumphant music. Which one sounds more refreshing to the blindfolded sound-tester? “Definitely the one that went ‘Buschhh.’ What beer is that?”
Bud Light, "No Exception" (2018)
Featuring the AB InBev brand’s medieval “Dilly Dilly” universe and heroic Bud Knight character, this 30-second ad takes a shot at autumnal mead—which, in our era, translates to frilly, small-batch craft brews that are the near antithesis of Bud Light. The popular light beer’s Renaissance-style ads were comedic hits for many years, even featuring prominently in a handful of Super Bowls, though Ad Age broke the news early this year that the sun was setting on the Dilly Dilly empire.