Anheuser-Busch InBev will run World Cup-themed TV advertising in the U.S., after all—just not for Budweiser, which is being used globally to push the company's sponsorship of the soccer tourney. Instead, the brewer will make the World Cup part of Bud Light's "Dilly Dilly" kingdom in the states.
A new ad called "World Cup is Coming" introduces a new character to the medieval-themed campaign named Oracle Susanna, who looks into the future to predict soccer fans awakening at dawn to cheer and yell "Dilly Dilly." That would be Bud Light's marketing dream, of course, but it's also not pure fantasy, considering that the viral catchphrase has worked its way into the sporting vernacular.
Another new Dilly Dilly spot that has nothing to do with the World Cup plugs Bud Light's new orange-flavored line extension.
Both spots are by Wieden & Kennedy New York.
AB InBev holds an official FIFA World Cup sponsorship, allowing it to tag the Bud Light ad with the phrase "The FIFA World Cup Is Here." Non-sponsors, like Draftkings, are using generic phrases in their marketing like "the world's biggest international soccer tournament." With the U.S. out of the Cup, sponsors are generally taking a cautious approach in the states, where ratings could be down. Coke, a major World Cup sponsor, is running a big campaign globally but still has not decided if it will run any TV ads in the U.S.
AB InBev opted out of running Budweiser's World Cup TV ads in the states, despite the fact that the effort by Anomaly is described as the largest campaign in the brewer's history.
The Bud Light ad will make an appeal to Hispanics, whose World Cup viewing will likely remain strong, considering the big role the sport plays in Hispanic culture and the fact that the Mexican team qualified for the Cup, which runs from June 14-July 15 in Russia. The ad, which will be followed by other World Cup-themed spots, will run in both English and Spanish, and get airplay on Fox Sports and Telemundo, the two networks carrying the tourney in the U.S. (AB InBev-owned Estrella Jalisco is also running World Cup ads in the states to tout its sponsorship of the Mexican team.)
A Bud Light spokesman said the brand's ads "aren't specifically focused on World Cup, but rather tapping into the conversation happening around the tournament using Dilly Dilly as the vehicle." The ad marks Bud Light's largest "Dilly Dilly" push to date with Hispanic viewers. Not much translation is needed: "Dilly Dilly" is a made-up phrase meant to be a medieval cheer; although the literal definition of the single word Dilly is "one that is remarkable or outstanding," according to Merriam-Webster. Plug the English "Dilly" into Google translation and it spits back "Dilly" in Spanish.
While the campaign has dominated the brand's general marketing advertising, Hispanic viewers have been served a lot of non-Dilly Dilly ads, like this one, called "Letter," which has been airing in California since February.