Turns out, the Bud Knight may have survived Super Bowl 2019—and he has Tide to thank.
For its 2020 Super Bowl ad, Procter & Gamble-owned detergent brand brought in a cast of famous characters, including It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia actor Charlie Day and Emily Hampshire of Schitt’s Creek. But perhaps even more notable, especially for those in the ad industry, is the Bud Knight—Bud Light’s famous mascot who was killed off in a joust in last year’s Super Bowl.
In Tide’s 45-second spot that aired during the first quarter of the game, Day and Hampshire attend a Super Bowl party, where Hampshire hits Day in the chest after a particularly exciting play, leaving a stain on his shirt. Day bemoans the fact that he’ll now have to wash his shirt, but Hampshire tells him to wait until later, because the game is on.
Day then wonders, “But when is later?” and is sent through a montage of scenes. The first shows him asking the Bud Knight if he should do his laundry during the commercials, to which he responds: “Later.” (Day proceeds to steal the Bud Knight’s beer and run off.)
That’s not the only brand that Day name checks in the spot: After seeing the Bud Knight, Day then heads to a mock halftime show in which he names Pepsi, the sponsor of the real Super Bowl Halftime Show.
In a spot that aired during the second quarter, the Bud Knight and ‘Dilly Dilly’ universe made a second appearance, where Day is made fun of by the Knight and his medieval friends for the stain on his shirt.
The Bud Knight famously met his end last year in a talked-about Super Bowl spot, a crossover between Bud Light and HBO’s Game of Thrones, which was weeks away from the premiere of its final season. In the spot, the Bud Knight competed in a joust against the Thrones character The Mountain—and lost. A dragon then flew over the scene, with Game of Thrones’ famous theme music playing in the background. This year, Bud Light’s primary ad will feature Post Malone and spotlight the brand’s new product, Bud Light Seltzer.
Tide’s last Super Bowl appearance, in 2018, similarly brought other brands into the mix. The “It’s a Tide Ad” campaign was actually four ads, starring Stranger Things actor David Harbour, each of which appeared to be an ad for another company (a car ad, an insurance ad, a beer ad), until Harbour told viewers that in fact, the spots were Tide ads because any ad with clean clothes could be.
If Tide continues with its formula from 2018, then the 45-second ad isn’t the last one we’ll see from the brand tonight. In fact, we’ve already seen Day pop up in another ad—a promo for The Masked Singer, the show that will follow the Super Bowl tonight on Fox, as well as in a 15 second spot featuring the Bud Knight again.
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