Anheuser-Busch plans to donate the money it would have spent on advertising its Budweiser beer during the Super Bowl to COVID-19 vaccination awareness, ABC reported.
For the first time in 37 years, we aren’t running a commercial during the Super Bowl. Instead, we’re helping to safely bring America back together again soon. Watch to learn how. pic.twitter.com/vpfnqDoDMK
— Budweiser (@budweiserusa) January 25, 2021
The company’s decision follows similar announcements from other advertisers. PepsiCo. will not be advertising Pepsi in order to focus on its halftime show sponsorship. Super Bowl veterans Audi, Coke and Avocados from Mexico are not advertising during the game at all, ABC News reported.
Sales have been cut drastically for many Super Bowl advertisers due to the pandemic. Coca-Cola has been hit hard since much of its sales come from movie theaters, stadiums and other crowded events. The company was forced to layoff employees in December. It announced that it wouldn’t be advertising this year in order to invest “in the right resources during these unprecedented times,” ABC News reported.
“I think the advertisers are correctly picking up on this being a riskier year for the Super Bowl…With COVID and economic uncertainty, people aren’t necessarily in the best mood to begin with. There’s a risk associated with messages that are potentially too light. … At the same time, there’s risk associated with doing anything too somber,” said Charles Taylor, marketing professor at Villanova University, ABC News reported.
Budweiser will still make an appearance around the game. The brand will air an ad beginning Monday on resilience during the pandemic, featuring a birthday parade and athletes in Black Lives Matter attire. The brand will also announce its decision to donate to vaccination efforts at the end of the ad, ABC News reported. (RELATED: Cheapest Super Bowl Tickets Cost More Than $11,000)
The game will look different this year for more reasons than advertisements. The Super Bowl is limiting attendance to about a third of the stadium’s capacity, and Super Bowl parties will be smaller affairs, ABC News reported.