How Anheuser-Busch InBev is Showing Up by Opting Out (Ode to our Bud, Part 2)

Body Content

Anheuser-Busch InBev is right to tone its Super Bowl LV ads down this year. Lots of people are hurting. Some will speculate that pulling Bud and Bud Light ads is about more than just the pandemic. No doubt micro-brewed craft beer, distilled fine spirits and changing generational tastes have impacted the company’s bottom line, too. But this is not about declining market share, it is about good business. 

Super Bowl ads are about building awareness and Bud and Bud Light have more than enough of that. Decades of it, in fact. So this is a good year to let new products like hard seltzer shine and rely on digital advertising and experiential branding to reinforce Bud brand loyalty.

In 2018 Anheuser-Busch InBev ran a dramatic Super Bowl LII spot titled Stand By You. It was a promise made to all those watching. A manager is at home in bed when a phone call wakes him up in the middle of the night — he is summoned back to the Anheuser-Busch plant. Why? It was a time of crisis. 

The plant manager and his troops immediately transformed the beer production line into one churning out cans of water to support areas hit by major storms in 2018. The spot left an impression that only Anheuser-Busch could turn beer into water like a corporate Jesus. 

Once again, in a noble gesture fitting for the “King of Beers,” the Budweiser and Bud Light brands are taking all the ad money they would have spent on Super Bowl Sunday and donating it to COVID-19 vaccine awareness efforts instead. 

Thank you Anheuser-Busch InBev and all good corporate citizens. Your help is always needed during a crisis. 

As consumers it seems like half of us demand social responsibility from the brands we love, while the other half just take such generosity for granted. Yet there is something else that all consumers woefully take for granted with regard to Anheuser-Busch InBev and its products. We take consistency for granted. 

Batch by batch, shipment by shipment, and region by region you can rely on Bud and Bud Light year after year. There is comfort in consistency, especially in such turbulent times. 

So many come and go, but Anheuser-Busch InBev is always there for us. Few do it bigger or better and I marvel at their consistent quality and logistics excellence that ensures their products are seldom in short supply, if ever. 

So much so in fact, I wish Anheuser-Busch could manufacture COVID-19 vaccines right now instead of brewing beer. Those vaccines that will get us out of the house and back in our favorite bars. Getting together with friends and family too. Sharing beers, if not germs. 

In the meantime, let’s all toast to a happier, healthier and less troubled time during the next big game, Super Bowl LVI.