With its Super Bowl ad, Bud Light is betting that drinkers still remember its classic ad characters—some from many years ago—including the “I love you man” guy, Dr. Galazkiewicz, the “Real Men of Genius” singer, plus Cedric the Entertainer, who last appeared in a Bud Light Super bowl ad in 2005.
The characters unite in a 60-second spot from Wieden+Kennedy New York that also includes some more recent ad stars, like the Bud Knight and Post Malone, who appeared in the brew’s Super Bowl ad last year. The spot also includes a glimpse of the Bud Light bottles that appeared in the “Bud Bowl,” which debuted in the 1989 Super Bowl.
They all show up to help recover spilled beer from an overturned truck so that it can be used to restock an empty shelf at a convenience store. But that does not come before the Bud Knight, who was killed off in the brand’s 2019 Super Bowl ad, apparently meets his maker yet again. See the extended cut here.
The heavily nostalgic ad seems aimed at reaching Bud Light drinkers of multiple generations. It also plugs a new loyalty program called Bud Light Legends that promises rewards like music and sporting event tickets and exclusive merchandise. The first 10,000 people to sign up will get their names engraved on the Bud Light brew tanks at a St. Louis brewery. Bud Light is running a second Super Bowl ad, released last week, that plugs its new hard seltzer lemonade variety.
The brand had foreshadowed the Legends ad in recent weeks by running ads spotlighting the old characters. The old ads are hosted on a new Bud Light Legends website.
“Fans have loved and celebrated Bud Light’s role in the Super Bowl for decades, and this year, we’re excited to reunite iconic characters in the most epic way with this new spot,” Andy Goeler, VP of marketing for Bud Light, said in a statement.
But drinkers of a certain age will notice one omission: Spuds MacKenzie. The popular but controversial "original party animal" from the 1980s has already come back once—in ghost form for a Bud Light Super Bowl ad in 2017, also by Wieden+Kennedy. But the pooch did not make the cut this time. Asked why, a brand spokesman said: “We took a look back at all our campaigns and moved forward with the ones which were fan favorites and we felt best represent Bud Light’s legacy.”
Fans of the bull terrier, once dubbed "the nation's most unlikely sex symbol," might have something to say about that.