ST. LOUIS – The pandemic putting a different twist on a familiar brand. AB-InBev announced it will not advertise Budweiser during the Super Bowl, but instead focusing on COVID vaccine awareness.
The brewer will run an online ad focusing on Americans and their resilience throughout the past year during the pandemic. AB-InBev’s online film “Bigger Picture” also showcases first responders.
Bob Lachky, a retired senior executive with Anheuser Busch, set the gold standard for 20 years, winning the USA Today Ad Meter award for his memorable commercials. Lachky is surprised by the move that Budweiser will donate a percentage of its airtime for 2021 to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Vaccine Education Initiative.
“I have a feeling that when you say you’re pulling a brand out of the game, you don’t have anything to advertise,” Lachky said. “You don’t have an idea or you’re pulling the plug on the brand altogether and you’re saying, ‘You know what? That brand is no longer important to us,’ let’s put it against the next seltzer with nine different ingredients in it. That, to me, I don’t get it.”
This is the first time in 37 years during the big football game you won’t be seeing the familiar Budweiser brand. However, you will still see other AB-InBev commercials for brands like Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer, and Michelob Ultra.
“You mean, I’m not going to see my Clydesdales?” says Lachky. “Clydesdales are the umbrella for the entire organization. It shocks me that they don’t understand that that is the air cover that we always believed in. It didn’t matter if it was Bud or Bud Light or Michelob Ultra, it was all under that umbrella and it made the people who sold it on the street so proud to see Budweiser.”