Bud Light and Needham, Harper & Steers in Chicago use wordplay to great effect in this 1985 Super Bowl ad, one of many iterations along the same theme.
The argument that all light beers aren't the same was designed in part to take share from Miller Lite, the category pioneer and then still the No. 1 light beer in the country -- not to mention a fellow advertiser in Super Bowl XIX, with "Respect" starring Rodney Dangerfield. Anheuser-Busch marketers including Mark Schupp and Mike Roarty were keen to catch up with Miller Lite before consumers locked it in as the default for low-calorie beers.
As Thomas O'Guinn, Chris Allen and Richard J. Semenik wrote in their textbook book "Advertising and Integrated Brand Promotion":
"Miller Lite" was quickly becoming the generic term for light beer. To do something about this, Bud Light came up with the series of "Give Me A Light" ads to remind light beer drinkers that they had to be a little more specific in what they were ordering. The ads showed customers ordering "a light" and instead getting spotlights, landing lights, searchlights, lights in Wrigley Field and all sorts of other lights.
Bud Light's mission would take a while to succeed, but it passed Miller Lite in terms of volume in 1994.
BRAND: Bud Light
AGENCY: Needham, Harper & Steers