On Tuesday, Samuel Adams unleashed the wild ad it will run during Super Bowl 2021.
The video begins with the brand’s popular character “your cousin from Boston” unhitching a team of Clydesdales, then cooling off with a Wicked Hazy IPA. The humorous spot is a blatant attack on competitor Budweiser, which typically runs its own Super Bowl ads featuring the grand horses. But Anheuser-Busch (A-B) has announced it will not run a 2021 Super Bowl ad for its flagship brand this year. Instead, the company will use its platform to educate fans on the Covid-19 vaccine.
The Samuel Adams advertisement will only be shown in Boston and New York, as A-B still owns the exclusive rights for running national beer commercials during the event. This does mean huge savings for Sam Adams, though. The regional commercial will cost parent company Boston Beer Co. $770,000 while a similar national ad would require $5.6 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.
This year will mark the first time since 1983 that A-B has not run a Super Bowl ad for Budweiser. Instead, A-B shared in an email press release that it will focus on rebalancing its portfolio and devote ad space to raising public awareness about Covid-19 vaccination efforts. The brand will completely forego its in-game Super Bowl ad space and reallocate these funds to marketing campaigns related to Covid-19 education.
Beyond that, Anheuser-Busch will retain four minutes of advertising time in the national broadcast. Here, it hopes to highlight other brands within its portfolio like Bud Light, Michelob ULTRA, and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade.
Each ad has earned the Gold Green Seal from the Environmental Media Association, which acts as a certification for sustainable TV, movie, and event efforts. In doing so, A-B has become the first major advertiser to adopt these guidelines throughout its Super Bowl advertising production.
Green Seal aside, Anheuser-Busch may turn green with envy if the Wicked Hazy IPA sells out.