Budweiser Highlights Disaster Relief Efforts, Real Employees in 60-Second Super Bowl Spot

Beer brand stops production to send water cans

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Over the last 30 years, Budweiser has donated 79 million cans of water to disaster relief. Last year alone, Budweiser donated three million cans of water to disaster relief for people in need in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and California. That relief program is the focus of the beer brand’s 60-second Super Bowl spot, from creative agency David Miami.

“This year we wanted to use our Super Bowl time not only to entertain but also to bring a message that is really [about] purpose and to celebrate, of course, our incredible employees,” said Ricardo Marques, vp of marketing for Budweiser. “The people that you see in the spot are working for the company. There are 23 employees featured including of course Kevin Fahrenkrog, general manager of the Cartersville, Ga. brewery.”

The spot features a cover of the song “Stand By Me” by Skylar Grey (when people download Skylar Grey’s song, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross) which underscores the company’s message that it is committed to the relief program and will continue to provide emergency water for those in need. This year, Budweiser decided to add its Fort Collins, Co. brewery to its emergency water program so that it could provide water more quickly.

The company declined to say how much the program costs, instead referring Adweek to the number of cans it donated last year.

“We believe the Super Bowl will be the right stage to send this message and to reaffirm our commitment to this effort,” said Marques.

This spot is now the second water-focused Super Bowl spot for Anheuser Busch. Stella Artois’s ad features Matt Damon and Water.org.

“Both Stella Artois and Budweiser having cause marketing related ads is intentional, to a certain degree,” said Bill Bradley, vp of community affairs. “Water is an important resource not only for all our friends and neighbors around the globe but it’s also integral to our business, of course.”

Bradley continued: “The Stella Artois ‘Buy a Lady a Drink’ program with Water.org is an extremely important program to our company globally. On the heels of the natural disasters that occurred during 2017 and with it being the 30-year anniversary of our emergency drinking water program, of course, everything just lined up for Budweiser to highlight it.”

When pressed on Flint, Mich., the city that has lacked clean water since 2014, Bradley noted that Budweiser did send water to Flint when it was requested in 2016. “The situation is a little different than natural disasters, which is what our emergency relief donation program is really set up for,” said Bradley. “Flint, Michigan is a long-term municipal situation that has a local plan for fixing and a lot of different resources coming in there. Most of our efforts are surrounding natural disasters, we work very closely with the Red Cross in that space, so there is no long-term plan from our standpoint to contribute to those efforts in Flint but of course, there are many, many other organizations that are contributing to it.”

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@KristinaMonllos kristina.monllos@adweek.com Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.