Anheuser-Busch said Wednesday that it is turning to online social media to drum up interest for its three Bud Light Super Bowl ads.
The brewer is trying to create a little mystery — and get a little more bang for its considerable buck — by teasing consumers about the plot lines of the three spots.
A-B posted one photo from each of the ads on its Facebook site, facebook.com/budlight. A total of three stills from each ad will be shown, leading up to the Feb. 6 football game. Fans are encouraged to guess the plots of the three spots. Once fans have correctly guessed the plots, the brewer will release an online-only 90-second ad.
One of the three ads was produced by St. Louis ad agency Cannonball. The other two were done by DDB Chicago.
The Facebook effort comes a week after A-B announced it would have five Super Bowl ads this year: three 30-second Bud Light spots and one 60-second spot each for Budweiser and Stella Artois. The Budweiser spot will feature the iconic Clydesdales. The Stella Artois spot marks the first time A-B has advertised an imported brew.
During last weekend's NFL conference championship games, A-B ran two 15-second ads teasing its upcoming Budweiser Super Bowl ad.
ST. LOUIS • The Budweiser Clydesdales have a confirmed spot in Anheuser-Busch's lineup of Super Bowl television ads, one year after the brewer's decision to bench the familiar horses during the big game led to a public uproar and an embarrassing corporate reversal.
The horses will appear in a 60-second Budweiser ad — a spot so good, apparently, that A-B is teasing it with two 15-second commercials to run during this weekend's NFL conference championship games.
"It's about extending the window" and gaining more attention for a fleeting, but expensive ad, said A-B President Dave Peacock.
Advertising during the Super Bowl has grown into its own attraction separate from the football game, as viewers scrutinize the creative displays and analysts try to discern hints about corporate marketing plans from who is buying ads and how many.
Pepsi created a stir last year when it stayed away from the Super Bowl, saying it was focusing efforts online. This year Pepsi is back with six ads for Pepsi Max.
A-B bought 3½ minutes of ad time for this year's game, at the low end of its historical ad buys. Peacock said it was a normal fluctuation.
A-B certainly is not shying away from the NFL. Last year the brewer signed a blockbuster deal with the league to secure exclusive sponsorship rights for Bud Light.
A-B also will have three 30-second Bud Light ads in the Super Bowl, one of them produced by St. Louis-based ad agency Cannonball.
And Stella Artois will be making an appearance in a 60-second spot, marking the first time A-B has pushed an import during the Super Bowl and a sign of A-B working more closely with its corporate parent, Anheuser-Busch InBev.
"The brand has done really well. It's gotten to the point where the awareness is good," Peacock said.
Last year's Super Bowl attracted a record 106.5 million U.S. viewers, according to Nielsen.
And it was last year that A-B faced public opposition to its plan to drop the Clydesdales, which had been part of its image since 1933, from its ad roster. The decision, which the brewer said was made only because the company did not like the Clydesdale ad then under consideration, was announced in the week leading up to the game. The brewer spent those days backpedaling.
In the end, a 60-second Clydesdale ad appeared.