Anheuser-Busch InBev will air Super Bowl commercials for four of its brands, including a combo ad for its Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer.
The beer giant will air a total of four ads, 60 seconds each, in the Big Game on Feb. 2, promoting Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer, its new hard seltzer brand, which will hit shelves on Jan. 13.
After airing four spots for Bud Light alone in 2019, it will run just one combo ad for the brand, while Michelob Ultra will get two spots, including one for its organic beer Pure Gold. Budweiser will also have a 60-second spot.
AB InBev's four minutes of ad time is down from 2019's five minutes and 45 seconds (across eight ads), making it the biggest Super Bowl buy for the brewer in recent memory.
Marcel Marcondes, chief marketing officer at AB InBev, said this year's buy is back to the company’s usual Super Bowl levels. Outside of 2019, AB InBev aired three-and-a-half minutes in each of the three prior Super Bowls.
This comes as sales-to-retailers declined 3.1 percent for the first nine months of 2019. Michelob Ultra continues to make sales gains, but Bud Light and Budweiser remain stuck in a long-term decline.
The combo Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer ad out of Wieden & Kennedy will have a humorous tone, but it’s unclear if it will continue the “Dilly Dilly” campaign.
The goal of the ad, Marcondes says, it to target both Bud Light drinkers and non-Bud Light drinkers.
While it’s a smaller buy for the Bud Light brand than last year, the company is also producing a one-hour special that will air on Fox the night before the Super Bowl featuring performances from the Bud Light Super Bowl Music Fest taking place in Miami.
Last year, Bud Light used three of its spots to launch what became known as corngate, slamming rival MillerCoors for using corn syrup in the fermenting process. This turned into a major narrative for the rest of the year.
AB InBev debuted its first marketing for Bud Light Seltzer earlier this month during the National Football League wildcard playoff games. The debut ad is set in tiny Seltzer, Pennsylvania, not the “Dilly Dilly” kingdom that has served as the backdrop for Bud Light’s campaigns since 2017.
AB InBev has a lot of catching up to do in the seltzer category. The new label is trying to ride the coattails of Bud Light, but the move is a bit of a gamble since Bud Light, the largest beer brand in the business, has been in a steady sales decline for years.
This year's Budweiser ad out of David Miami will celebrate American values and ordinary people doing extraordinary things, Marcondes says. It will also feature a new label and packaging inspired by packaging from the 1970s.
Both Michelob ads will come from FCB and will once again connect to a theme of health and wellness.
Stella Artois, which was featured in the 2019 game with a spot starring Sarah Jessica Parker and Jeff Bridges, will not have a Super Bowl ad. Instead, AB InBev will create digital activations and feature the brand at a European-inspired event in Miami during Super Bowl weekend.