Super Bowl

Heineken 0.0 Is Bringing Nonalcoholic Beer to the Super Bowl

The brand's partnership with Marvel is a celebration of sobriety

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In 1989, Anheuser-Busch wrote its own villain origin story by barring competitors from advertising on a day when consumers are fixated on commercials, booze and by association, commercials about booze. The conglomerate has finally let go of that categorical monopoly, and Heineken is celebrating with a Super Bowl ad for its nonalcoholic beer. 

Heineken 0.0, which snagged a 30-second slot during the first half of the game, teamed up with Marvel to promote the February release of “Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania” by coupling heroism and productivity with sobriety. The teaser features Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, who senses judgment from his six-legged sidekick until clarifying that the beer he’s enjoying during a short break from his superhero duties is actually nonalcoholic. 

Selling sobriety 

The Marvel Studios and Heineken 0.0 collab, which was directed by creative agency LePub and Anthony Leonardi III of Bullitt, glorifies nonalcoholic alternatives at a time when more Americans are reevaluating their allegiances to drinking culture beyond Dry January and Sober October.

Data from Morning Consult found that the share of those who drink at least once a week declined across all beverage categories from October 2021 to March 2022, with beer dropping six points from 25% to 19%. IWSR predicts that nonalcoholic sales production will climb 31% by 2024, and brands are reinforcing this trend through aesthetically pleasing packaging, experiential marketing and celebrity-backed sobriety endorsements

Heineken 0.0, which leads the nonalcoholic beer segment, has recently positioned itself as more of an esteemed choice than a second-rate option through campaigns that celebrate sober gatherings. Jonnie Cahill, Heineken USA’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement that the spot reinforces the brand’s “continued commitment to making moderation cool” and is “the ultimate expression of relevant, responsible consumption.”

Since announcing the end of its 34-year exclusivity run, Anheuser-Busch competitor Molson Coors, whisky brand Crown Royal and french spirits company Rémy Cointreau have all bought 30-second Super Bowl spots. The NFL Super Bowl airs on Fox Feb. 12.

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