Friday, February 3, 2017
Budweiser 2017 Super Bowl Ad
As I write this blog post, already more than 8 million people have viewed Budweiser's 2017 Super Bowl commercial "Born the Hard Way" on just one of many YouTube uploads of the ad. It is a rule of thumb in PR that if you can tie your story (or, in this case, ad) to a current popular (and especially controversial) topic, it has a much higher chance of being successful. Not only will the ad be seen by the estimated 189 million people who watch the Super Bowl in person and on television, but I would guess it will receive at least 12 million views on YouTube before that. And that does not count all of impressions created by the media that discussing this commercial as a news story, potentially creating tens of millions of additional impressions for the brand. This is a very smart way to extend one's advertising spending.
And, in case you have not already seen or at least heard about the ad, it is a well crafted one-minute story about how the immigrant Adolphus Busch came to America and met Eberhard Anheuser to found Anheuser-Busch.
Not only will this ad get additional impressions, but it will also create additional discussion online and offline. And, while the point it makes is subtle enough, it will create a greater emotional connection between the brand and a significant portion of the world's population because of the point that it makes. However, it is as much the story of a company's founder as anything else and it is produced in good taste.
Having said that, it will likely turn off some of its customers, but that will only create additional emotional discussion of the brand. It has been said that "all publicity is good publicity," especially regarding a soft approach to a topic like this in which the fallout is likely to diminish quickly and be of little consequence in the long run.
Here is the ad on YouTube is case you have not seen it.
My hat is off to Anheuser-Busch for crafting a Super Bowl commercial that is meaningful and will have legs that will extend well beyond the Super Bowl itself. Kudos!