Anheuser-Busch Will Dominate Super Bowl with 11 Spots

SAN FRANSISCO The Super Bowl’s largest advertiser, Anheuser-Busch, has a record 11 30-second spots scheduled for the game. With a total of five and half minutes of airtime bought by the St. Louis-based brewer, Bob Lachky, vice president of brand management at Anheuser-Busch, said yesterday this year’s game will showcase “some of the best body of work we’ve had in a long time.”

Ten days before Super Bowl Sunday, Lachky was working on putting the finishing touches on the lineup, a process that will have him juggling the order of the work right up to a few days before the game. “We overproduce a bit,” said Lachky, who “cherry picks” the Super Bowl spots from about 25 to 30 executions tested in front of consumers.

Heavy on humor, new commercials from five shops on Anheuser-Busch’s agency roster will debut on the game, mostly supporting Bud Light. Spots from DDB Chicago, five in all, will include three Bud Light spots that Lachky described as “surprising high comedy.” The storylines include a yoga theme, a beach theme involving a conch shell and a dilemma a man faces when he can’t bring his dog into a bar.

DDB also produced a responsible drinking ad starring country singer Tim McGraw. Despite it’s serious message, Lachky says the execution will be “whimsical and funny.” A spot for the low-carb Michelob Ultra, also from the Chicago agency, will feature a fitness message tied to a New Year’s resolution.

The Clydesdales will return again this year in a spot created by Hill, Holliday, Connors Cosmopulos, Boston, but this time, instead of bowing in front of the New York City skyline, the trademark horses will be enjoying a bit of the game themselves.

From Fusion Idea Lab, Chicago, will come a new evolution of Budweiser’s “True” campaign, adding the themeline, “Think Fresh. Drink Fresh.” to the popular campaign. “The tonality is a little different,” said Lachky. “It has a little more energy and it’s an absolute call to action.”

A “True” spot from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, San Francisco, will feature a “Good Listener” who gets distracted by football. Another spot from Downtown Partners, Toronto, which will have two Bud Light spots on the game, will involve a strong man competition requiring contestants to hoist industrial-sized refrigerators filled with the brew.

As for the spots that weren’t chosen for the big game, Lachky said “there are no losers in our mind.” For example, a Bud spot considered from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, titled “Bistro,” humorously illustrating the different ways men and women place their food orders, will run this weekend.