(MISSOURI) — For the first time in nearly four decades, Budweiser — the brand that gave us the “Wasssaaaap!” commercials and those name-croaking frogs — won’t be advertising during the Super Bowl.
Instead, Anheuser-Busch is using its Super Bowl ad dollars to support the COVID-19 vaccine.
In a commercial called “Bigger Picture,” Budweiser skips the usual beauty shots of beer and babes. As “Lean on Me” plays in the background, the ad shows somber scenes of Americans coping with life amid the pandemic.
“The thing about America is we can do anything,” the voiceover declares. “We can turn rooftops into mountaintops…We can turn boundaries into common ground…We can turn screentime into playtime.”
“Together,” the narration concludes, “Let’s turn our strength into hope.”
A title card then reads, “For the first time in 37 years, Budweiser will not air a Super Bowl ad. Instead, we are redirecting our advertising dollars to raise awareness of the COVID-19 vaccines…by joining forces with The Ad Council and COVID-19 Collaborative.”
The text ends with, “See you at the game next year.”
Anheuser-Busch will still run Super Bowl ads for Bud Light and Michelob Ultra, as well as for those brands’ respective spiked seltzers.
Audi and Coca-Cola are among other companies that have already announced they’re skipping advertising during the Super Bowl, because of pandemic-battered bottom lines.
in addition to changes in advertising, the pandemic will see other changes to the Big Game. When the Kansas City Chiefs take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on February 7, just 22,000 people will be allowed to watch the game in person — about a third of the normal capacity of Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
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