Budweiser is the latest company encouraging Americans to get a coronavirus vaccine by offering something for free, although it is not as easy to obtain as a Krispy Kreme doughnut. The Anheuser-Busch company released a new commercial featuring the famous Budweiser Clydesdales and a puppy called "Reunited with Buds" that reminds people to get vaccinated so they can return to bars. There is also a contest to win 10,000 free beers.
The "Reunited with Buds" commercial was posted on YouTube Thursday and will begin airing on television on April 26, Anheuser-Busch told USA Today. The ad "celebrates our favorite bars as they start to reopen and reminds people to safely return to them once they have been vaccinated," the company added. The ad features the Queen song "Don't Stop Me Now."
At the end of the ad, the company teases, "Your first round's on us if you've been vaccinated." However, this is not as simple as just showing your vaccine card to a bartender or retailer. You have to enter the "Reunite with Buds" giveaway at ABeerOnBud.com with proof of verification. The contest is open to most U.S. residents 21 and older and you can enter through May 16.
There are a few other hoops to jump through. You have to create a new My Cooler Rewards account. Then, when you enter, you will have to share a picture of your "I got vaccinated" sticker, your band-aid, or a selfie taken where you got your vaccine. If you are eligible to get the "free beer," you will receive a $5 virtual debit card to buy your beer. In addition, Alabama, California, and Texas residents are not eligible for the offer.
The Budweiser brand hopes its initiative helps "pave the path for friends to safely reunite at bars and restaurants in person," Monica Rustgi, Budweiser vice president of marketing, told USA Today. "As one of America’s biggest brands, we felt it was important to take a stand on this issue and encourage people to get a vaccine so we can all gather together again."
If you are not a Budweiser fan but are still hoping to get a free beer after being vaccinated, other brands launched similar programs. Earlier this month, Samuel Adams started its #ShotforSam program. Social media users who include the hashtag alongside proof of vaccination will be eligible to receive $7 cash through the Cash App to pay for a Sam Adams beer. Only 10,000 drinkers will receive the cash through May 15.
In late March, Krispy Kreme announced it would be giving a free doughnut to any customer who presented their COVID-19 Vaccination Record Card. The program will continue through the rest of the year. Although Krispy Kreme's goal was to help raise awareness for vaccinations, the program was criticized by many who pointed out that obesity is another serious medical crisis in the U.S.