Bud Light reunites brand ‘legends’ in Super Bowl return

Dive Brief:

  • Bud Light released its full Super Bowl commercial, “Bud Light Legends,” ahead of game day, per details emailed to Marketing Dive and a press release. The 60-second spot features a handful of characters from the brand’s past advertisements, including Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer and the Bud Knight, reuniting to help a delivery driver save an overturned truck and deliver the beer to a convenience store.
  • The commercial kicks off a new Bud Light Legends rewards program in which fans can register online to win concert tickets, custom merchandise and experiences. The first 10,000 who sign up will get their names engraved on the brew tanks at Bud Light’s St. Louis brewery. At-home viewers can use the NFL Fan Cam to find cardboard Bud Light Legends in the stands, snap a photo and upload it to social with the designated hashtags for a chance to win tickets to next year’s game.
  • Bud Light teased its new “legends” concept in early January with the launch of a content vault online that shows 12 old ads by the brand. The vault aimed to refamiliarize consumers with Bud Light’s characters and past ads before debuting this year’s Super Bowl spot. The brand plans to use assets from the content vault and new big game ad over the next few months to encourage fans to join its new rewards program.

Dive Insight:

As the NFL’s official beer sponsor, Bud Light’s role in the Super Bowl has been established for years. This year, the Anheuser-Busch brew is keying into nostalgia with appearances by characters from its popular past commercials, reuniting them on a mission to save the Bud Light.

“The intention here is to bring viewers what they expect from Bud Light on Super Bowl Sunday, which is some fun and some levity, something we think is needed now more than ever,” Joe Lennon, Bud Light’s senior brand director, told Marketing Dive.

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Lennon’s team started brainstorming for the commercial toward the end of summer 2020, basing creative around reaching loyal Bud Light fans through nostalgia and a sense of comfort and familiarity, he said. The idea of resurfacing characters and phrases from past ads, such as the Bud Knight and “Dilly Dilly” line, plays into the nostalgia trend of recent years that most recently saw homebound consumers rewatching classic TV shows in 2020.

Meanwhile, Bud Light’s “legends” ad also taps into the popularity of superhero movies, beginning with a movie poster styled as a blockbuster film.

While sister brand Budweiser will not advertise during the game this year, Bud Light is among several AB InBev brands participating in the national broadcast, including spots from Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer. Stella Artois and Cutwater Spirits will both advertise regionally during the game. Still, the Super Bowl remains a key part of Bud Light’s broader marketing approach, according to Lennon.

“What we know about our fans that watch the Super Bowl, they expect to see Bud Light bring the fun and bring some of the levity and lightheartedness,” he said. “As we talked about participation in the Super Bowl and whether it was the right decision for Bud Light, we felt like our role for this year’s game was to bring that smile and levity that we think consumers would miss if we weren’t a part of it.”

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