Over the years, Anheuser-Busch InBev's Super Bowl ads sought to make viewers laugh at its jokes or bond with lovable animals like puppies and Clydesdales. But in the first spot to be released by any marketer before Super Bowl LII, the brewer positions itself as a do-gooder.
This spot for Stella Artois stars actor Matt Damon plugging his Water.org organization, which invests in clean water initiatives for developing countries. Damon founded the nonprofit in 2009 with Gary White, a longtime water and sanitation adviser. Water.org had partnered with Stella for four years and Damon had previously appeared in ads for the cause. "Taps" marked the first time he made the appeal in a Super Bowl spot.
The ad, from Mother, promotes a program in which Stella said it would donate money to provide 12 months of clean water for one person in the developing world for every purchase of a Stella 12-pack from Jan. 15 through April 15. For each pint of bottle bought in bars, Stella promised to donate enough to provide one month of clean water. Stella also put on sale a specially designed version of its chalice glasses: Each chalice purchase translated into a donation worth five years of clean water, according to the brand. The chalice designs reflected countries where Water.org provides support, including Mexico, India and Philippines.
The program kicked off as the ad was released on Jan. 16 with an event in New York City hosted by Damon called "Make Your Super Bowl Party Matter." The first 100 people in line will got a free beer.
Stella Artois released the ad so early to capture the interest of people buying beer for Super Bowl parties. "We all stock up on on beer for Super Bowl," says Stella VP Harry Lewis. "You might as well stock up on a beer that makes a contribution to the world."
The ad was Stella's first Super Bowl appearance since 2011 ("Crying Jean"). AB InBev also ran a pair of Bud Light spots from its new "Dilly Dilly" campaign, two ads for Michelob Ultra and a Budweiser commercial that also played up good deeds.
BRAND: Stella Artois
QUARTER AIRED: Q4