While fans are ready for Super Bowl LV as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers go head-to-head with the Kansas City Chiefs, the commercials are what many are looking forward to. Since the pandemic is still in play, a lot will be different this year during the annual game (which is free to watch this year), including the types of ads that will run. One of the changes is that Budweiser's Clydesdales will not be seen this year because Anheuser-Busch decided not to run the ad during the game.
However, fans will still get their taste of Clydesdales because Sam Adams, on the other hand, will be airing their own version. The commercial that's a spoof of the annual Budweiser tradition will only air in New York and Boston. The commercial starts with typical sentimental music the company used during previous ads before the camera pans to Clydesdales with a wagon in tow. As the famous horses break free, chaos erupts. Windows are busted and car alarms are sounding off, but towards the end, the camera shows one of the actors saying, "Whoops," before Sam Adams's ad character reads "Your Cousin From Boston."
In the end, the company advertises its new Wicked Hazy IPA. "We couldn't think of a bolder way to launch our big best for 2021 than an ad for the big game," Boston Beer Company Chief Marketing Officer Lesya Lysyi said in a statement according to Adage.com.
This is the first year in 37-years that Budweiser isn't airing their popular commercial. Monica Rustgi, Budweiser's vice president of marketing, detailed why the company made the bold choice to do things differently this year, saying the brand is "eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars, and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family." However, she continued to say that for things to go back to normal, "we're stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine."
As Americans are eager to learn more about the COVID-19 vaccine, it's unclear at the moment how much money will be spent on vaccine advertisement. Still, it will be a "multi-million dollar" commitment, including donating airtime to the Ad Council and COVID Collarorative's COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative. According to Charles Taylor, a marketing professor at Villanova University said, "I think the advertisers are currently picking up on this being a riskier year for the Super Bowl. With COVID and economic uncertainty, people aren't necessarily in the best mood, to begin with. There's a risk associated with messages that are potentially too light. At the same time, there's a risk associated with doing anything too somber."