For the first time in the last 37 years, the international beer company Budweiser will not be sponsoring the Super Bowl and the company’s Clydesdale horses, which have become synonymous with the super event, will not be seen this year.
The company said on Monday that the money that it would have otherwise been spent by the company on the commercial slot would be spent to support “critical Covid-19 vaccine awareness” via donations and future ad campaigns. According to reports, the company would have spent $5.6 million for the event to be held on February 7.
According to the company’s vice president of marketing Monica Rustgi, Budweiser has had a review and rethink of its marketing approach because of the novel coronavirus pandemic during which the global alcohol industry was hit hard with the sudden closure of bars, restaurants and big events where drinks are served.
Rustgi said that since vaccines against Covid-19 is the only way that the world would ultimately get back to normalcy, therefore the brand wanted to “be proactive” in promoting awareness about vaccines.
The Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative would be given some of the planned advertising airtime of Budweiser this year. A partnership between the two organizations for educating the public about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness was struck last year. A partnership to educate the public about the vaccine’s safety and effectiveness is being donated by Budweiser to the organizations to place ads in the future.
A new online ad this week narrated by “Parks and Recreation” actress Rashida Jones is being launched by Budweiser ahead of the game. That campaign shows people coping with the virus and a group of healthcare workers that were among the first people in the US to receive the Covid-19 vaccine. The company is also giving away free beer on a dedicated website.
According to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation, about 60 per cent of Americans saying they don’t know when or where to get the vaccine which reflects the confusion over the vaccine that is prevalent in the country. 50 per cent of the respondents said that they were “frustrated” while about 25 per cent of the participants of the survey felt “angry” about the vaccine’s rollout. About 60 per cent of Americans rated the performance of their government about vaccines to be poor.
Four minutes’ worth of ads during the Super Bowl will be aired by Anheuser-Busch’s other brands, like Bud Light and Michelob Ultra. However the absence of Budweiser at the event will be noticed by people, feels Rustgi.
“Some people might wonder why were not showing up at the Super Bowl, but we will just show up in a different way,” she said.
(Adapted from CNN.com)