Some brands who have traditionally aired in-game spots, like The Coca-Cola Co. and Budweiser, are opting out of the ads this year.
Despite the pandemic, people across the country are still expected to spend money and snacks and beverages ahead of Super Bowl LV.
More than $10 billion in CPG sales are expected in the two weeks ahead of the game, which will be held Sunday in Tampa, Fla., according to IRI, New York.
Here’s a look at what packaged beverage companies are planning for Super Bowl LV commercials …
PepsiCo is forgoing its traditional in-game ad for its namesake brand and instead “going all in” on the halftime show, which it sponsors, the Purchase, N.Y.-based beverage company said.
Pepsi is airing a Super Bowl halftime show TV spot featuring this year’s headlining artist, The Weekend. The ad debuted during the FNL Super Wild Card games.
Pepsi’s campaign will also be featured on specially marked Pepsi Super Bowl LV Halftime Show cans and packaging. A QR code will lead consumers to PepsiHalftime.com, where they can access exclusive artist and show assets.
"Over the past decade, the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show has become one of the most anticipated, viewed and talked about moments in music and entertainment. So, this year, instead of buying a traditional 30-second in-game Super Bowl ad, we decided to double down on the 12 minutes Pepsi already has in the middle of the game—the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show," said Todd Kaplan, vice president of marketing with Pepsi. "Coming off of a year that was mostly void of live music, we are reimagining the Pepsi Super Bowl Halftime Show to ensure fans can experience The Weekend's performance in new ways that have never been done before, with tons of exclusive access and content leading up to the show."
While PepsiCo isn’t airing any in-game Pepsi cola ads, its Mtn Dew brand will have an in-game spot.
The Mtn Dew ad will showcase its new flavors, Mtn Dew Major Melon and Mtn Dew Major Melon Zero Sugar—the brand’s first permanent flavor offering in more than a decade. The 30-second ad is part of a marketing campaign that takes everything to the extreme with a Dew twist, the company said.
One fan will receive $1 million by counting the correct number of bottles appearing in the spot, which features WWE superstar and actor John Cena.
The Coca-Cola Co.
Coca-Cola Co. is sitting out of the Super Bowl commercials this year.
“This difficult choice was made to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times. We’ll be toasting to our fellow brands with an ice-cold Coke from the sidelines,” the Atlanta-based company said.
Budweiser, from St. Louis-based brewer Anheuser-Busch (A-B), will forgo its in-game Super Bowl ad for the first time in 37 years, the company said. Instead, it will reallocate the media investment to help support recovery in the on-premise through COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education throughout the year.
Budweiser will run its ad digitally in the week leading up to and during the game. The video, called “Bigger Picture” celebrates first responders who were among the first people to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. It is narrated by actress Rashida Jones.
“Like everyone else, we are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars and be able to gather to cheers with friends and family,” said Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing at Budweiser. “To do this, and to bring consumers back into neighborhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine. That’s why Budweiser has joined together with long-time partner the Ad Council, along with COVID Collaborative, to donate airtime to increase awareness and education surrounding the vaccine.”
Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade
Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, made by A-B, will release a Super Bowl LV ad called “Last Year’s Lemons,” which the company said celebrates the relatable moments of 2020 and is inspired by do-it-yourself haircuts, postponed weddings and other inconvenience situations brought on by the pandemic.
It’s also highlighting an in-game promotion where fans can enter for a chance to win a case worth of Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, which launched in January. To enter, consumers must tweet when there’s a turnover by either team and using the hashtags #LemonsIntoLemonade and #Sweepstakes.
“We wanted to give consumers something to start the New Year off right by bringing them the bold flavor of our new Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade," said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light. "The Super Bowl always brings together avid and casual sports fans alike, and our hope is that our new commercial brings them a little bit of levity and fun while watching the game."
Bud Light, from A-B, is launching a new rewards program and a super Bowl LV advertisement that reunites Bud Light characters in one commercial. Grammy-nominated artist Post Malone, Cedric the Entertainer, the “I Love You, Man” guy, the Bud Knight, Oracle Susana and more are among the celebrities and Bud Light characters who will appear in the spot.
In the 60-second commercial, titled Bud Light Legends, the characters join forces to help a delivery driver save an overturned Bud Light truck and ensure the beverage makes it to a convenience store.
The commercial also formalizes the launch of the Bud Light Legends program, which recognizes fans who have supported the brand over the years. Customers can go to BudLightLegends.com for exclusive rewards, custom merch and more.
"I can't believe it's been twenty years since some of my most memorable moments with my friends at Bud Light," said Cedric the Entertainer. "I am thrilled to be featured in this year's Super Bowl ad and loved reuniting with fellow Bud Light Legends to bring some fun to the game."
Bacardi Rum is releasing a 30-second music video spot that will air during the Super Bowl pre-programming and during the premiere of “The Equalizer” after the game.
Bacardi rum already debuted an official music video and full song for a remake of the hit single “Conga,” featuring Meek Mill and Leslie Grace and produced by Boi-Ida.
"Bacardi is thrilled to reveal the first-ever remake of the global smash hit 'Conga' and official music video. Over the past month, we closely reviewed all the incredible fan submissions from around the world and incorporated a select number into the final music video alongside the artists," said Ned Duggan, global senior vice president for Bacardi rum. "We've always seen music as such a powerful force in bringing people together, and as the world trended toward division and isolation this past year, we wanted to use music as a catalyst to bring people back together in a way that has never been done before.”
User-submitted dance moves sync up with the artists’ choreography in the video, culminating with the lead artists visually pulling individuals from their own world into the Caribbean world.
Bacardi, Hamilton, Bermuda, created a “Conga Feat. You” cocktail called the Coco Conga to go along with the spot. It’s made with a base of Bacardi Superior white rum and a splash of Bacardi coconut flavored rum.
A-B’s Stella Artois collaborated with Grammy Award-winning rock musician Lenny Kravitz for a film “Heartbeat Billionaire,” which will air during Super Bowl LV.
Kravitz’s message of love is delivered in the spot via poetic spoken word as the rocker plays to the beat of his own drum and guitar, according to Stella Artois. As Kravitz’s song “It Ain’t Over Til It’s Over” plays, he’s transported to the brand’s animated and colorful interpretation of The Life Artois, or the Stella Artois mindset of savoring life together with those who matter most, the company said.
"This life is short, and while we're all given the opportunity to live through 2.5 billion heartbeats, each one is special and should be treated as such," Kravitz said. "It's a very powerful message and it comes at a very special moment for everyone to pause and marvel at life's true riches—our time with each other."
Michelob Ultra’s Super Bowl commercial poses the question on the role joy plays in success.
The 60-second ad, titled Happy, features sports superstars including Serena Williams, Anthony Davis, Peyton Manning, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Butler and Alex Morgan to show the parts of their lives that ultimately play a role in their success, from spending time with family and friends to exploring a new hobby.
The ad gives the message that people aren’t just happy because they win, but they win because they’re happy, according to the A-B brand.
"Enjoying the moments along the journey is as important as the journey itself," said Ricardo Marques, vice president of marketing with Michelob Ultra. "That's why we're partnering with some of the greatest athletes of our generation: to remind us all that joy and happiness are not a distraction but instead, a key ingredient to winning and success."
The commercial sells Michelob Ultra, a light beer that has 95 calories and 2.6 carbs.
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer
Michelob Ultra Organic Seltzer will also have a Super Bowl LV spot, starring Don Cheadle. The playful spot challenges the perception of reality, underscoring why real is better, according to A-B.
The 60-second ad features Cheadle and a host of celebrity look-alikes in their seemingly natural elements. The ad’s aim is to shine a light on the seltzer, which is “as real as it tastes,” the company said, with no carbs or sugar, 80 calories and filtered six times to remove impurities.