The King of Beers is pulling out of the Super Bowl advertising lineup this year.
Budweiser, for the first time in nearly four decades, will forgo airing its iconic commercials during the Super Bowl. Instead, the brand will donate the money allocated for its yearly commercials to the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative Vaccine Education Initiative, a public health communication campaign and additional efforts to support vaccine adoption efforts.
The Anheuser-Busch InBev-owned brand on Monday also launched its Super Bowl LV campaign “Bigger Picture,” a film that champions vaccine support. Budweiser will run the 90-second film digitally ahead of the biggest sports event of the year. Narrated by Rashida Jones, it highlights frontline health-care workers receiving the coronavirus vaccine and portrays a message of resilience in America during the global health crisis.
Anheuser-Busch will continue to run ads for other products in its beverage portfolio, including Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob ULTRA, Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer and ads in select markets for Stella Artois and Cutwater spirits. Anheuser-Busch will have four minutes of ad airtime in the broadcast.
"Budweiser has been a staple at the Super Bowl for decades, and while this year looks a little different, putting the community first has always been and will continue to be our priority. This year, we knew that in order to best continue supporting the community, our resources would be better served in support of vaccine awareness and education, something we’re all looking toward in order to bring us back together again safely," Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing for Budweiser, told FOX Business in a statement.
Budweiser is the latest major brand to call time-out on Super Bowl ads for their signature products during the pandemic. Cocoa-Cola and PepsiCo have also announced decisions to halt ads during the big game.
The Coca-Cola Company said it made the decision to sit out the Big Game this year to "ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times" in a statement shared with FOX Business.
"We’ll be toasting to our fellow brands with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines,” a spokesperson for Coca-Cola said.