For decades, the beverage giant Anheuser-Busch has been an ad staple during the Super Bowl. For the first time in almost forty years, the brand won’t be on the ad roster the night of the biggest game of the year. They are not the first well-known company to make this decision, either. Anheuser-Busch follows both Coca-Cola and PepsiCo in benching Super Bowl ads for their flagship products. This would typically come as a surprise, but normalcy is long gone amid a global pandemic.
The world continues to deal with the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. It seems Anheuser-Busch is finding other uses for money they would have spent on running a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, Budweiser will give the Ad Council, an industry coalition that produces public-service announcements, to help raise awareness of the benefits of getting the coronavirus vaccine. As cases in the United States continue to rise, the Ad Council could use all of the funding they can get at this point.
Life is entirely different from what it was a year ago this time of year. Many are still trying to grapple with the reality we are currently living in. There may not be a plethora of Super Bowl ads to talk about in the breakroom the Monday after for the first time in decades. For several, there isn’t a breakroom to visit in the first place, as a fair amount of people are still working from home or dealing with the hardship of unemployment due to the pandemic. We are all facing something right now that is more significant than memorable ads, but the desire to cling to what life was before COVID-19 is still present and understandably. This major historical event continues to change our lives daily. How it has affected what ads will get during the Super Bowl LV is just one of them, and pals compared to other changes.
So, while there won’t be any iconic Clydesdale horses, adventurous puppies, Budweiser frogs, or potential catchy phrases like “Wassup,” there will hopefully be plenty of campaigns to encourage what can be done to help slow down the spread of COVID-19.
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