You won’t see the iconic Anheuser-Busch Clydesdale horses in a Super Bowl commercial this year. That’s because the beer company has decided for the first time in 37 years not to run a Budweiser spot during the televised broadcast of the NFL championship game.
Instead, the brand put together a digital commercial called “Bigger Picture” that uses footage of Americans sharing positive moments that emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic set to the song “Lean on Me.”
A dog licks a man’s face during a video call, people sing from apartment building windows, an elderly woman gets a drive-by celebration from her front lawn, and a bathrobe-clad man dances in a grocery store.
“The thing about America is we can do anything,” says narrator and actress Rashida Jones. “And together let’s turn our strength into hope.”
The montage ends with healthcare workers getting vaccinated. Here it is, as shared on YouTube.
The money that would have been spent on a Budweiser Super Bowl TV commercial will instead go towards supporting the Ad Council’s vaccine education and awareness efforts.
The Ad Council itself shared Budweiser’s announcement and added, “We commend them on their generosity, powerful message & commitment to social good.”
For the first time in 37 years, @budweiserusa will not air a Super Bowl ad and instead is committing their support to our COVID-19 vaccine education initiative and other vaccine awareness efforts. We commend them on their generosity, powerful message & commitment to social good. https://t.co/MIc5yYG3Qn
— adcouncil (@AdCouncil) January 25, 2021
Anheuser-Busch will still air ads for its other brands like Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, Michelob Ultra and Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer during the Super Bowl LV broadcast from Tampa on Feb. 7.
PepsiCo. is another company not advertising its major brand, Pepsi. Instead, it’ll be concentrating on its halftime show sponsorship and will only run ads for Mountain Dew and Frito-Lay. Big brands like Coke, Avocados from Mexico, Hyundai and Audi also don’t plan to advertise this year.
This is due in part to tougher times financially for brands, a more dangerous filming environment, a riskier advertising prospect for a potentially smaller audience during the pandemic with fewer Super Bowl viewing parties thanks to gathering restrictions across the country, and other factors, according to Variety.