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Old 01-30-2010, 10:23 AM
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Default Super Bowl Ads- But No Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales This Year

ST. LOUIS -- The iconic Budweiser Clydesdales will be missing from Anheuser-Busch's slate of nine commercials appearing during the upcoming Super Bowl.

Anheuser-Busch is using humor, not horses, to push Bud Light and Budweiser, complemented by shorter nods to Michelob Ultra and the new, low-calorie, Select 55. The Super Bowl commercials range from scientists turning to Bud Light as they worry about an Earth-bound asteroid, to a small town working to rescue a beer truck, to a spoof of popular TV series "Lost."

The brewer remains a big spender on Super Bowl commercials, buying up five precious, pricey ad minutes for the Feb. 7 football game, at the high end of its usual buy.

But for the first time in at least eight Super Bowls, none of Anheuser-Busch commercials feature the Clydesdale horses.

"What? You've got to be kidding me. I can't believe it," said John Antil, a Super Bowl advertising expert and University of Delaware marketing professor. The Clydesdales are "an American icon. They represent a lot of what's good about the company."

But Anheuser-Busch's top marketing executive, Keith Levy, said it was an unintentional outcome of focus-group testing.

"We did produce a Clydesdale spot," Mr. Levy said. "And we do continue to utilize Clydesdales in our marketing for Budweiser. But at the end of the day, I don't choose the spots. Brand managers don't choose the spots. The consumers do."

Television advertising is never more scrutinized than during the Super Bowl. The commercials are part of t he game's attraction, helping explain why a 30-second spot goes for an estimated $2.5 million. Last year, 100 million people watched the game, according to Nielsen. Millions more watched the commercials online. And people love to talk about -- and vote on -- the best Super Bowl commercials. It's even noted when longtime advertisers drop out, which Pepsi, General Motors and Federal Express all did this year.

Controversy is part of the formula, too, from GoDaddy's racy commercials to an anti-abortion ad featuring college football star Tim Tebow that is expected to run during this year's game.

So the absence of Clydesdales in Anheuser-Busch's commercials -- especially after last year's Super Bowl contained three different spots with the horses -- does not go unnoticed.

This year's commercials emphasize humor, a reaction to consumers worrying about the continuing economic slump and glum news overseas, Mr. Levy said. "There's a lot of heaviness pressing down on their lives. I think they want a departure from that. They want to laugh. They want to have fun. They want to celebrate."

The five Bud Light commercials take aim at being funny. In one spot, expected to run during the third quarter, a husband on his way to play softball interrupts his wife's book club when he sees Bud Light is being served. In another commercial, running during the first quarter, friends are amazed by a house built of blue Bud Light cans.

The two Budweiser commercials, scheduled for the second and fourth quarters, emphasize how the brand brings people together. A brief Select 55 ad, produced by St. Louis agency Momentum, comes days after the beer's national rollout. And a Michelob Ultra commercial pushes that brand as the choice drink for Type-A personalities and features cyclist Lance Armstrong "to really cement that association with him," Mr. Levy said.

MillerCoors is prevented from advertising on the Super Bowl national telecast by Anheuser-Busch's contract with the NFL. But using a tactic employed in years past, MillerCoors has bought airtime at the local level in some markets to air its own beer commercials during the game.

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/10029...d=business.xml
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:26 AM
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Default Re: Super Bowl Ads- But No Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales This Year

Some of the best viewing commercials over the years has been the Clydesdale. The frogs have been good also. But as of late the Bud commercials have pretty much sucked in my opinion. So I don't expect much then for the Superbowl commercials from Budweiser.
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Old 01-30-2010, 10:29 AM
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Default Re: Super Bowl Ads- But No Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales This Year

I agree Murph, it won't be the same this year without the horsies..
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:57 AM
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Default Re: Super Bowl Ads- But No Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales This Year

I like the horses too...bummer.

But, Lance Armstrong is promoting BEER??? That's a weird fit.
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