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Why Coke, Pepsi, Anheuser-Busch, and More Skip Super Bowl Ads


For the first time since Super Bowl XVII, when the Redskins beat the Dolphins 27:17 to win their first championship, Anheuser-Busch will not be advertising Budweiser during the big game.

Instead of spending money on a Budweiser advertisement, Anheuser-Busch is providing $ 1 million for marketing campaigns related to educating and educating people about COVID-19 vaccines, according to The Wall Street Journal.

“We’ll be reaching people during the Super Bowl, too,” said Monica Rustgi, VP of Marketing at Budweiser, the WSJ. “It’s just not going to be in the traditional sense. We’re still using the conversation and the ecosystem surrounding the Super Bowl to send a message, but we’re also helping to be part of the solution so that sooner or later we can all enjoy an ice cold bud. “

While it makes for a good headline, it’s not that Anheuser-Busch will sit completely out of the commercials during the Super Bowl LV – nowhere near. Although Budweiser will not have its own advertising during the game, according to AdAge, Anheuser-Busch will run spots for Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer for over four minutes. (Four minutes of airtime is the same amount Anheuser-Busch had for Super Bowl LIV last year.)

Budweiser also posted a 90-second ad congratulating himself on not advertising.

For the first time in 37 years, we’re not running a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, we are helping to bring America back together safely soon. Check out to see how. pic.twitter.com/vpfnqDoDMK

– Budweiser (@budweiserusa) January 25, 2021

It is also noteworthy that all of the Super Bowl commercials that Anheuser-Busch will broadcast have been certified “Gold” by the Environmental Media Association.

ViacomCBS was looking for $ 5.5 million for 30-second spots during the game, which also kind of goes into the equation.

That substantial cost is likely one of the reasons why other traditional Super Bowl advertisers like Coke, Hyundai, and Pepsi will also skip this year’s broadcast, although Pepsi continues to sponsor the 12-minute halftime show and has ample opportunity to promote its products.

A Coke spokesman told CNBC earlier this month the company skipped the Super Bowl ad to “make sure we are investing in the right resources in these unprecedented times,” while a Hyundai spokesman told Ad Age the decision to Not advertising on February 7th is “based”. about marketing priorities. “

Given last year’s events, from the pandemic to the Black Lives Matter movement election, it’s possible advertisers are more nervous than usual about how their commercials will be received by a mass audience, Assistant Marketing Professor Kimberly Whitler at the University of Virginia USA Today said.

“If you’re too dark, funny, or seditious – or if you’re not on the ‘right’ chord right now – the backlash can be significant,” said Whitler. “Everything is enlarged. The press – good and bad – is increasing. The risk is simply greater. “

While big brands are dropping out, smaller first-time buyers like Vroom, DoorDash, Scotts Miracle-Gro, and Fiverr will make their Super Bowl debuts.

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