It's the first time in 37 years that the beer company won't have a Super Bowl ad. Coke and Pepsi are skipping the National Football League game, as well.
Budweiser, a Super Bowl mainstay for nearly four decades, will sit out the big game this year in a sign of just how much COVID-19 has shaken up our norms. "For the Super Bowl, you generally go big or go home".
According to CNBC, a commercial for last year's Super Bowl - which drew around 100 million viewers - costed $5.6 million. Super Bowl ads usually sell out well in advance of the game, which will take place February 7 in Tampa Bay, Fla., when the host city's Buccaneers take on the Kansas City Chiefs.
The decision breaks with a longstanding tradition for Budweiser, a consistent Super Bowl advertiser for nearly four decades. The organizations are receiving $1 million from the beer company for future ads, CNN reports.
Coca-Cola announced its intention not to run any Super Bowl ads one week before the game's matchup was set. Anheuser-Busch has retained four minutes of advertising during the game for other products that skew to younger consumers, like Bud Light Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer.
Coca-Cola told CNBC that rather than spending money on Super Bowl ads, it will be "investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times".
Coke has taken a financial hit during the pandemic.
As for Pepsi, the company is focusing exclusively on the sponsorship of their halftime show, which will feature a performance from The Weeknd, vice president of marketing Todd Kaplan said in a statement. It will have a campaign leading into the show, which will be highlighted by The Weeknd, instead of a traditional commercial during the game. Coke's market value has dipped 14% over the previous year. The beverage industry is heavily reliant on restaurants and venues, causing AB InBev's stock to slide 14.5% over the past year, due to a 6.8% revenue drop directly related to pandemic restrictions.
Pepsi's stock has risen 2% in the past year. Instead, the company has produced a digital 90-second video (without the Clydesdale draft horses) more akin to a public service announcement, celebrating American resilience in the face of the pandemic and ending with scenes of people getting vaccinated.
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