For Anheuser-Busch, the Super Bowl has morphed into a day for new product launches.
Last year, the brewer launched Bud Light Platinum on the big game, and this year, two other brand extensions—Budweiser Black Crown and Beck's Sapphire—will be unveiled.
There's certainly no bigger stage to get attention than the highest rated program on television. Last year's game between the Giants and Patriots attracted an average of 111.3 million viewers, establishing new all-time TV viewership record for the third year in a row.
"The Super Bowl is a unique event from a consumer behavior standpoint," explained Paul Chibe, U.S. chief marketing officer at A-B. "You have people who are, by behavior, tuning into that telecast, watching the game but also there to watch the advertising. That, we think, creates a powerful combination for us to launch innovation."
Budweiser lead agency Anomaly in New York produced two 30-second ads for Black Crown, each directed by Sam Bayer of Serial Pictures. The first explains how consumers picked the recipe for the new lager and the second places the brand in a party setting, according to Chibe.
Beck's lead shop, Mother, produced a single 30-second ad for Sapphire that's both humorous and stylistic, Chibe said. The Sapphire brand name comes from the name of the hops used to produce the beer. Of course, it's also a type of jewel. So, the ad seeks to answer the question, How would a jeweler launch a beer brand?
The other brands rounding out A-B's lineup this year are Super Bowl veterans. Bud Light will be featured in two 60-second ads from Translation, and Budweiser in one :60 from Anomaly.
Jake Scott is directing the Budweiser ad, which depicts the interplay between a horse trainer and a Clydesdale. Scott directed Bud's "Prohibition" ad on the game last year.
Beyond Black Crown, Bayer also directed the ads for Bud Light, which continue the brand's current "Superstitious" theme. Among recent Super Bowls, Bayer is best know for his work on the "Born of Fire" ad for Chrysler that appeared on the 2011 game and won the Emmy that year for outstanding commercial.
As in years past, A-B's first ad will appear in the first slot of the first commercial break after kickoff. Last year, Bud Light Platinum filled the slot; this year it will be Bud Black Crown.
Chibe hesitated to say which quarters the other ads will run in, given that the placements may ultimately shift. But he did lay out the order: the two Black Crown ads, followed by a Bud Light ad, the Sapphire ad, the Bud Clydesdale ad and finally, the second ad for Bud Light.
All told, A-B purchased four and a half minutes of time on the game—the same as last year.