FCB Chicago No Longer Waiting to Exhale, Grabs a Michelob Ultra

By Erik Oster 

A-B InBev’s Michelob Ultra brand revealed its 30-second Super Bowl spot from FCB Chicago, entitled “Breathe.”

The big game ad, the brand’s first since 2010, was directed by Antoine Fuqua, stays true to the title, focusing almost exclusively on exhalation during workouts (there is one big, long yoga breath thrown in there for full measure. It targets men and women (represented in more or less equal measure) dedicated to fitness, with the tagline “Brewed for Those Who Go the Extra Mile.” While well-shot, the one-minded nature of the ad, lots of shots of people working out and nothing else, makes it easily forgettable. It also suffers from another problem that applies more generally to the light/low carb beer market: a reliance on consumer ignorance when beer drinkers are more and more educated and aware of their myriad options. So while some gullible fitness gurus may be swayed by the low calorie content of the flavor and aroma devoid product, others may be aware that the caloric divide between Michelob Ultra and, say, a Brooklyn Lager is insignificant enough to be more or less bridged by such non-workouts as preparing dinner for thirty minutes or watching TV for an hour. In other words, if you’ve just engaged in an intense workout, it’s probably not going to make a difference. 

“We know that Michelob Ultra drinkers exercise regularly and still make time to have a social life,” Edison Yu, vice president of Michelob Ultra, said in a statement. “We made ‘Breathe’ to celebrate those who put in this extra effort and choose a beer that they can enjoy without sabotaging their hard work.” 

In addition to “Breathe,” the brand has a second ad prepared should the game go into overtime, also part of the new “Brewed for Those Who Go the Extra Mile” campaign and directed by Fuqua.

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