Beer can give you the happy chills when it’s tasty, and the bad chills when it’s rancid. But rarely does it give you the emotional chills that Budweiser has done with this year’s moving Superbowl ad, as it showcases Budweiser co-founder Adolphus Busch’s journey to America from Germany. Proving what Charles Dwyer shared in his lecture, our brains respond best to stories, and in America, there’s no better one than the classic rags to riches tale. Nikki posted a really interesting piece about its to correlation to sales, and the debate it saw on social media.
Building off of last year’s Peyton Manning shoutout of “drinking a lot of Budweiser” following the Bronco’s victory (Bloomberg reported that the shout-out was worth $3.2 million in media exposure alone — before accounting for the statement’s major impact on social media) Budweiser used one of its greatest assets, the story of their protagonist co-founder fulfilling the American dream.
Busch battles through a boat fire, injuries, and insults until arriving in St. Louis and meeting his-cofounder Eberhard Anheuser, when he shares his vision for Budweiser.
In this tense time, brands fear any action might alienate any their consumers, or as we discussed in class just last week, could result in a personal callout from the President’s Twitter handle. And Ab-InBev, Budweiser’s parent company, has reason to be tentative. This October, their $100 billion merger with SABMiller made them the largest beer manufacturer of the world.
But what makes the ad genius is that it has something for everyone. Does it speak volumes about immigration in the United States today? Of course, which is why it has drawn the debate mentioned. But as Ricardo Marques, Anheuser-Busch InBev‘s VP for Budweiser shares, it “shows the start of Budweiser’s journey, and while it is set in the 1800’s, it’s a story we believe will resonate with today’s entrepreneurial generation — those who continue strive for their dreams.” That impact is far greater than our political divide, and is a message that brings resonance and inspiration across the political spectrum.
And what does it mean for social media? Beyond the important debate piece that Nikki explored, I was also interested in seeing how the new trend of unveiling Superbowl commercials BEFORE the game (on outlets like the “Today Show” where I first saw this) has on their popularity. Upon reviewing the stats on the Budweiser Twitter handle on February 1 there were 907 “replies” to Budweiser, 3.3K “retweets” and 7K “loves.” On YouTube, on the official Budweiser channel there were 210K views. In viewing today, February 6, there were 5k “replies” 22k “retweets” and 52k “likes” on Twitter, with 22, 320, 124 views on YouTube (of those – over 42k thumbs up, and over 15k thumbs down).
Of course, this doesn’t even touch on how many other outlets like AdAge, AdWeek, or non-affiliated YouTube channels gave it, and it might be impossible to quantify views altogether. But as the Forbes piece assigned to us this week focused on, there is no greater stage than the SuperBowl, and the numbers show the exposure in a big way.
It plucks heart strings and rings familiarity with the 9/11 Clydesdale ad, which aired only once during Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002. And so we bought Bud Light this weekend. The first Superbowl commercial I can remember was the Budweiser frogs in 1995. I think I’ll remember this one longer.