Anheuser-Busch turned over one of its Super Bowl slots in 2006 to the Beer Institute, the trade association for beer marketers, as wine and spirits gained share. A Gallup poll in 2005, for example, found more consumers picked wine as their drink of choice over beer, 39% to 36% (even if that was within the margin of error).
The resulting "Here's to beer" message via Omnicom Group’s DDB Chicago was just the start of a broader campaign intended to convey beer's "social value," among other qualities, Anheuser-Busch exec Robert Lachky told CNN Money in the days before Super Bowl XL:
The campaign will also "romance the product," or in other words, expose consumers to the brewing process and all that it entails. "There's more to beer than just knowing how to drink it," Lachky said.
By that summer, Anheuser-Busch and the Beer Institute could claim a measure of victory. The new Gallup poll found that beer was again the beverage Americans drink most often, beating wine by a 41% to 33% margin.
Liquor, however, climbed to 23% from 21%. And over the horizon, craft brewers were mustering; eventually Anheuser-Busch would have to take them on in the Super Bowl too ("Brewed the Hard Way").
Trade associations were not new to the Super Bowl. Their big-game work includes the Canned Food Information Council's "Brilliance" in 1985 and the American Dairy Association's "Cheese, Glorious Cheese" in 1986.
Director: Iain Mackenzie. Production company: Tight.
DDB chief creative officer: Bob Scarpelli. Group creative director: Don Pogany. Associate creative director/art director: Brian Billow. Copywriter: Don Pogany. Producer: Todd Brandes.
Editorial: Chrome. Editor: Lance Pereira. Music/sound design: Beacon Street Studios.
BRAND: Beer Institute
QUARTER AIRED: Q4