National Beer Day and public health are not usually a match. But this is not a typical year, and Budweiser is using the drinking holiday—which is today—to launch a COVID vaccination awareness campaign.
A new ad made in partnership with the Ad Council urges viewers to get the shots by showing people socializing with beers in normal times. The spot, called “Good Times are Coming,” comes from David Miami and is backed by Jimmy Durante’s “I’ll Be Seeing You” and ends by plugging GetVaccineAnswers.org, an educational site that is part of the Ad Council’s “It’s Up to You” campaign that includes involvement from the COVID Collaborative, an assembly of bipartisan health, education and policy leaders.
As pro-vaccination ads go, Bud’s spot is pretty lighthearted—and there is even some subtle Bud branding in it, including cans and bottles that appear in scenes that include card games, cookouts, concerts and gatherings that have mostly been put on ice since the pandemic struck. The spot will run on digital and social media with TV airings slated for later this month. Anheuser-Busch InBev will use its own media inventory to run the ad, rather than rely on donated media, a spokesman confirmed.
In January, AB InBev announced it would forgo running a Super Bowl ad for Budweiser and instead reallocate the spending for vaccine awareness in partnership with the Ad Council. A 30-second Super Bowl ad costs about $5.6 million. Marcel Marcondes, AB InBev’s U.S. chief marketing officer, in January told Ad Age the brewer would initially contribute $1 million to the Ad Council’s effort with more donations to follow. The spokesman this week said the brewer is not disclosing the total amount donated.
The beer industry marks “National Beer Day” every April 7 to mark passage of the Cullen-Harrison Act, which Congress approved in 1933 allowing for so-called 3.2 percent beer sales during Prohibition (essentially ending Prohibition early for beer.)
Monica Rustgi, VP of Marketing at Budweiser, in a statement said the brand wanted to “take a different approach to the holiday” this year. “The country is at a critical moment in its recovery—and as America’s most iconic beer, we’re not only committed to playing our part in the recovery, we are uniquely positioned to use our influence to remind people how close we are to being able to celebrate together, thanks to these vaccines. If the film inspires anyone who is on the fence to go ahead and get a vaccine, then we’ve done our job.”