• Last year, we panned Bud Light's 60-second ad as "faux fun." We said this all-too-common practice in beer advertising inevitably leads to "a distinct lack of distinctiveness." In a separate article, we explored how this sort of entertainment masquerading as advertising comes about. How ad agencies like to create ads that get themselves noticed, even if they do nothing to sell beer. Now, Bud Light's badly flawed "up for whatever" ads are gone, along with the ad agency that created them.
• Just a year earlier, we said the recurring Budweiser "puppy" ads airing over the years were just not effective advertising, and we showed the research to prove it. While the King of Beers aired one more canine commercial in the 2015 big game, it looks like that's the end of the litter. There will be no puppy this year.
• And last but not least, we were among the first to proclaim Budweiser's "Brewed the Hard Way" ad debuting in SuperBowl 49, a hit for the brand. The same night it aired, we banner-headlined: EXTRA!! Budweiser runs a real beer ad! In a followup article (Budweiser's got game!) we looked at how the brand got to work ramping up its efforts behind this winner of a campaign.
A-B's SuperBowl 50 lineup
The latest word is that Anheuser-Busch will place ads in this year's game for four of its brands: Budweiser, Bud Light, Shock-Top and Michelob Ultra. It's a pretty good bet the Michelob ad will continue the brand's successful fitness/low-carb strategy (one we called a winner way back in 2013, in case you're still keeping score). And we'd be surprised if Budweiser departs from its "Brewed the Hard Way" strategic effort.
So, that leaves Bud Light and Shock-Top as the two question marks.
Because Shock-Top is relatively new to television ads, it's hard to predict its direction. However, with virtually every craft brand selling itself on the distinctiveness of its beer, we'd expect Shock-Top to take heed, and give beer drinkers an idea of how its beers are different.
Grab your favorite beer and get ready!
If you enjoy rating SuperBowl beer ads as much as we do, you may want to see how we go about distinguishing the winners from the losers. Here's a useful guide: How to make an ad as effective as Budweiser's.
Or try our even simpler two-item checklist.
Either way, February 7th will be all about football and beer... ads.