For its Super Bowl debut, 62-year-old Busch beer is going back to one of its classic marketing techniques -- the "Buschhhhh" can-crack sound.
The spot shows a new flannel-wearing character the brand is calling the "Busch Guy" opening a cold one along a mountain stream, prompting an exaggerated "Buschhhhh" sound that seems to never end. The agency on the ad is Deutsch New York, which picked up the account in August.
"The goal for our first-ever Super Bowl commercial was to create a spot that was unmistakably Busch," Chelsea Phillips, senior director of value brands at Anheuser-Busch InBev, said in a statement. "By featuring our iconic 'stream pull' and the 'Buschhhhh' can-crack sound, we created a relatable and funny spot, expected to resonate strongly with those consumers who have the same values that we do."
The can-crack sound has its origins in Busch's "Head for the Mountains" campaign that began in 1978 and continued in various ways through 2009, according to a brand spokesman. Below is one of the early ads from 1978:
The Super Bowl ad shows Busch in newly designed packaging that will hit the market in April.
"We're excited to be reintroducing Busch to the country at the big game. The creative, shot by director Harold Einstein, pays homage to the classic elements of Busch advertising while putting a fresh, comedic spin on it for today," Dan Kelleher, chief creative officer for Deutsch's New York office, said in a statement.
AB InBev has raised some eyebrows by dedicating a pricey Super Bowl spot to the value brand. But the ad comes amid an emerging marketing battle among lower-priced brews as brewers seek to boost overall beer sales volume. MillerCoors, for instance, has recently put more money behind Miller High Life.
In its statement, Busch said that the Super Bowl ad will allow the brand to "maintain its leadership position in the high-volume value segment, which accounts for 25% of total beer."
Dollar sales of regular Busch at stores declined by 0.7% in 2016, giving the brand 6.2% dollar market share among domestic beers, according to Wells Fargo data citing Nielsen. That placed the brand fifth among domestic brews.