Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola sit out Super Bowl LV, divert ad spend


Budweiser has announced that the brand will not be advertising during the Super Bowl. The beer giant stated that the money would be diverted towards coronavirus vaccination awareness efforts.

The Company disclosed that its Super Bowl ad will run digitally and a percentage of its advertising airtime for 2021 will be donated to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative; this step, among others showcases the caution with which advertisers are approaching the first COVID-era Super Bowl.

In 2020, Anheuser Busch InBev spent an estimated $41 million on Super Bowl ads; Pepsi—$31 million; Procter & Gamble—$30 million; and Amazon—$26 million. According to analytics firm Kantar, 2020 was the largest Super Bowl ever in terms of in-game ad spend, with marketers spending an estimated $435 million.

Marcel Marcondes, U.S. CMO, Anheuser-Busch stated: “This year’s less-than-mercenary game plan was very much shaped by the events of 2020. When it comes to marketing, we don’t want to return to ‘normal. We want to use what we’ve learned from the pandemic to connect better with people and keep moving forward.”

Coca-Cola and Pepsi also announced that both cola brands will be sitting out this year’s ad. Pepsi stated that the company would focus solely on sponsoring the half-time show; meanwhile, Pepsi’s other brands like Mtn Dew and Frito-Lay would be airing their commercials during the game. The Super Bowl has long served as a prominent front for the long-running soda war between Coca-Cola and Pepsi.

Coca-Cola stated that the move was a difficult choice; it announced that the company would not run ads in CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LV as it seeks to ensure that it invests in the right resources during these unprecedented times.

Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser parent company has purchased four minutes of in-game spots from CBS, giving it ample time to roll out the promotional barrel for Bud Light, Michelob Ultra, and two hard-seltzer products which have been spun off the low-calorie beer brands.





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