For one of its Super Bowl ads, Budweiser has tapped Helen Mirren to deliver an anti-drunk driving message in a way that only the A-list British actress could.
"If you drive drunk, you, simply put, are a short-sighted, utterly useless, oxygen-wasting, human form of pollution -- a Darwinaward deserving, selfish coward," Ms. Mirren says in the spot, as she stares into the camera from a restaurant booth with a cold Bud and a hamburger in front of her.
The 60-second spot by Anomaly represents the first time Anheuser-Busch has run an anti-drunk driving ad in the game since 2005, according to the brewer. That year a spot by DDB Chicago showed Cedric the Entertainer doing a designated driver dance.
Running ads about serious issues during the Super Bowl -- when most viewers just want to have fun and stuff their faces -- has its risks. Just ask Nationwide, which was widely mocked for running an ad in last year's game about the death of a young boy due to a preventable injury in the home. Weight Watchers also failed to gain much traction from a spot about over-eating.
But Bud seems to be in a good position to pull it off thanks to Ms. Mirren, who delivers the message with a mix of British charm and wit. In the ad, which is called "Simply Put," she introduces herself as "a notoriously frank and uncensored British lady." In her tirade, she tells viewers that "chances are you're a fun, solid, respectable human being. Don't be a pillock." That message could a) spawn a bunch of Google searches for the definition of pillock (a stupid person), or b) create some instant demand for Uber or a local cab company.
The brewer will be supporting the ad with a microsite called StandWithBud.com that will allow people to do zip code searches and get a list of available ride services in their area. Users can also take a pledge to #GiveADamn and share it on social media, selecting from phrases inspired by the ad, such as "I will not be a selfish pile of poop."
Read more about the campaign over at AdAge.com.