As usual, brands have begun leaking their commercials weeks before the SuperBowl airs. Sure the football is exciting but as advertisers, the marketing is what gives us a whole lot to cheer about. This year Fox is charging between $5 million and $5.5 million for 30 seconds of advertising. “A 30-second commercial for the first Super Bowl, played in 1967, cost a mere $42,000.” Phew… Budweiser has released their concept and it goes a little deeper than usual. Gone are the puppies and the Clydesdales (I know, we were sad too) but in their place we find some good old-fashioned charity and, we think it’s just what the doctor ordered.
They open the commercial to an employee being woken up to a phone call. He promises the person he’s talking with, “I’ll be right there,” kisses his wife goodbye and heads to work. Over the radio you can hear talk of a storm, people desperate for aid, as he drives through the night. If you have any empathy at all, you’re already hooked. They don’t mention which disaster they’re responding to but over the last year alone there were plenty to choose from. Meeting his crew there, Budweiser’s beer is moving swiftly through the production lines until they come to a complete stop and a stillness falls over the entire place. Budweiser cans transition brilliantly into white cans boldly announcing “WATER” and the lines begin to move again. Cans are sealed, palettes are stacked and trucks get loaded.
In this touching Anheuser Busch commercial, they highlight both their hard-working staff and the company’s charitable efforts. This includes sending 79 million cans of water disaster relief areas in California, Puerto Rico, Florida, and Texas. In doing so, Budweiser halted production of their beer and opted to fill their cans with life-saving water instead. When doing the right thing means more than making profits you can create something really special. A lesson that is equally valuable at the corporate and the startup level.