Super Bowl LV is right around the corner, and other than the matchup between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the Kansas City Chiefs, fans are looking forward to the commercials. However, the Budweiser Clydesdales will not be seen this year because Anheuser-Busch decided not to run an ad during the big game. Now fans are wondering why the company will not compete in the commercial wars during the Super Bowl, which you can watch for free this year.
Monica Rustgi, Budweiser's vice president of marketing, said in a statement the brand is "eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars, and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family." She went on to say that for things to get back to normal, we're stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine." It's not known how much will be spent on vaccine awareness. Still, it will be a "multi-million dollar" commitment, which will include donating airtime throughout this years for the nonprofit the Ad Council and COVID Collarorative's COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative.
"I think the advertisers are correctly 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," Charles Taylor, a marketing professor at Villanova University, told Fox 17 in Nashville. "There's a risk associated with messages that are potentially too light. At the same time, there's risk associated with doing anything too somber."
The Budweiser Clydesdales made their debut on Apr. 7, 1933. It was a gift from August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch to their father in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition, according to Budweiser's official website. The Clydesdales have made various appearances on commercials and two presidential inaugurations. They were seen at Harry Truman's inauguration parade in 1949 and then again for Bill Clinton's in 1993.
This year will be the first time since 1983 that Budweiser has not run a Super Bowl ad. However, it will run a 90-second ad titled "Bigger Picture," online before the game, complete with narration from Rashida Jones. Budweiser is not the only big-name company to no run a Super Bowl ad this year. Pepsi, Coke, Audi, and Avocados from Mexico have also opted to sit out the Super Bowl, airing on Feb 7.