Serena Williams dances and Anthony Davis plays chess in Michelob Ultra's Super Bowl ad

The Anheuser-Busch brew plugs fun off the court in one of two Big Game spots

Published On
Jan 25, 2021

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Michelob Ultra secured several A-list athletes for its Super Bowl ad. But instead of showing them in action on the court or field, the brew is putting a spotlight on what they do in their downtime.

The ad from Wieden+Kennedy New York includes a scene of Serena Williams dancing and singing karaoke with her girlfriends, while pro golfer Brooks Koepka is shown at a pizza party and hoops star Anthony Davis appears playing chess with his dad. Other stars in the ad include Peyton Manning, Jimmy Butler and Alex Morgan. The 60-second spot, called “Happy,” is meant to connect the beer with good times, while pushing the notion that experiencing joy off the field, court or course can contribute to success on it. It continues the low-cal beer’s long-running association with sports.

The ad’s soundtrack is “Can I Kick It” by A Tribe Called Quest.

“Enjoying the moments along the journey is as important as the journey itself,” Ricardo Marques, VP of marketing for Michelob Ultra, said in a statement. “That’s why we’re partnering with some of the greatest athletes of our generation: to remind us all that joy and happiness are not a distraction but instead, a key ingredient to winning and success.” 

Ultra, which is among the fastest-growing beers in the U.S., will run a second Super Bowl ad from FCB for its new organic seltzer variety. The ads are part of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Super Bowl ad lineup that will also include two ads for Bud Light and one corporate ad—but does not include Budweiser for the first time in 37 years.

Ultra finished 2020 as the nation’s fourth-largest beer after shipments jumped nearly 14%, according to Beer Marketer’s Insights. Ultra and Modelo Especial, which grabbed the fifth-spot, were the only two top five beers to grow shipments.

To keep track of all the advertisers running national spots in the game, bookmark Ad Age’s regularly updated Super Bowl ad chart.

Join Ad Age on Feb. 2 for a look at how brands are navigating the pandemic and addressing diversity in their ads for the 2021 game.