"We chose to double down on the 12 minutes Pepsi already has in the middle of the game - the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show", Pepsi Vice President of Marketing Todd Kaplan said in a statement. Michelob Ultra is the fastest-growing beer in the business and now ranks only behind Bud Light for top-of-the-heap honors, according to IRI data.
"Obviously brands need to speak to consumers in the right tone and are rightly anxious about getting this wrong, but I have no doubt that the Super Bowl will remain the year's biggest sports and advertising event", he said. That's right: even America's oldest national beer brand can't muster excitement for a Chiefs-Bucs Super Bowl. "So you'll see us show up differently at the Super Bowl this year, starting with a bold commitment from Budweiser, alongside spots from Michelob ULTRA and Stella Artois that provoke us to think about what matters most in life, as well as Bud Light who is celebrating all of their legends in an epic spot".
The pandemic has cut sharply into sales for many Super Bowl advertisers.
That further complicates the already delicate process of striking a tone that acknowledges what's happening with the world, managing to either entertain or tug at viewer heartstrings, and finding a way to tie it all back to their brand. The newspaper said Coca-Cola called it a "difficult choice" made to "ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times".
Although some regulars like M&Ms and Toyota will be back, many advertisers have decided not to spend the reported $5.5 million CBS was asking for a 30-second spot.
"It's a tough year to do an ad", Argenti said. Actress and director Rashida Jones narrates the ad, which features the response to the events of 2020 - from the Black Lives Matter movement to the pandemic - and ends with health care workers being vaccinated.
The spot features COVID-19-era scenes of people singing from their apartment windows, a drive-by birthday parade, a dog invading his owner's video chat, people waiting in a socially distanced line to get into a store and people getting vaccines.
While Anheuser-Busch InBev does plan to run other commercials during the game, AdAge reports that the Budweiser move is in keeping with others from Coca-Cola and Pepsi. Budweiser's Super Bowl step-back also won't be long-term, she said.