Today's robots can do a lot of things, like deliver packages, clean store aisles and assist surgeons. But they can't drink beer—or at least enjoy it, a point Michelob Ultra makes in one of its two Super Bowl ads released today.
The spot, by FCB Chicago, draws a parallel between robots and people who work out so hard they resemble machines. That's no fun, according to Ultra's point-of-view, expressed at the end of the ad with a scene of a sad-looking robot logningly peering at a bar from the outside in the rain. "It's only worth it if you can enjoy it," states on-screen text.
The ad keeps Ultra's longtime pitch as a fitness beer, which at 95 calories has for years been positioned to be enjoyed after workouts. The 30-second spot is a new take on the "Live Fit, Live Fun" tagline the beer introduced last year. Ultra is "all about balance and we believe that life is better being active and having fun and being social," says Azania Andrews, VP of the Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned brand. The robots, she says, are representative of "that person we all know who is too intense and too focused and doesn't have any fun."
Juan Luis Londoño Arias, a Colombian reggaeton singer known as Maluma, makes a quick cameo in the ad at the very end. He will be included in future Ultra marketing, Andrews confirmed.
Ultra continues to be a star performer in the brewer's portfolio. Sales at stores surged 19 percent in the four weeks ending Jan. 12, according to Nielsen data cited by Beer Marketer's Insights. AB InBev is trying to extend Ultra's appeal with a line extension released last year called Michelob Ultra Pure Gold that is made from organic grains. It will be supported with a Super Bowl ad that has not yet been released.