Why Didn’t Budweiser Purchase a 30-Second Ad Spot for Super Bowl 55?

The Kansas City Chiefs will take on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl 55. With that territory comes the litany of companies dishing out millions of dollars for commercial spots during the game. However, Budweiser is breaking their nearly four-decade trend for a specific reason.

Super Bowl 55 ad layout

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Each year ahead of the Super Bowl, companies line up to purchase 30-second airtime during the big game.

Super Bowl 55 isn’t any different, as many major brands have dished out approximately $5.5 million to have their product on display. This year’s game’s price tag is nearly identical to what companies had to pay for the Super Bowl 54 matchup between the Chiefs and San Francisco 49ers.

There is an expectation that this year’s viewership may exceed the 102 million viewers that Fox had last year. According to Forbes, the NFC title game between the Buccaneers and Green Bay Packers earned a 5% boost and averaged 44.8 million viewers on Fox.

Meanwhile, the AFC championship game between the Chiefs and Buffalo Bills rose 2%, with an average of 41.9 million viewers watching on CBS. Given the slight rise in viewership from those two games alone lends well to the expectation that the numbers will rise for Super Bowl 55.

There will be many of the typical companies with airtime this year, such as M&M’s, Tide, Pringles, and Toyota. However, Budweiser won’t be among them. 

Budweiser snaps 37-year Super Bowl ad tradition

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Over nearly the last four decades, Budweiser has been a staple among Super Bowl commercial airing ad time.

However, that won’t be the case for Super Bowl 55, as the company has elected to break their 37-year tradition. The prominent beer business elected to shift its financial commitment toward helping the COVID-19 relief efforts. (H/T USA TODAY)

“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,” Budweiser vice president of marketing Monica Rustgi said in a statement. “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.”

Budweiser has plans to shift some of its advertising airtime through the rest of this year to the ad Council and COVID Collaborative, a group of experts in health, education, and the economy. Although there were no specifics on how much money the company is donating, spokesperson Clarissa Dickinson voiced that it’s a “multi-million commitment.”

Budweiser may not have a televised commercial for Super Bowl 55, but it is scheduled to run a 90-second ad on digital platforms before and during the game. The beer company isn’t the only major brand to elect to go another route. Coca-Cola and Pepsi have also decided to help the efforts in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pepsi is the halftime show sponsor, but there won’t be any ads for the brand during the game. Other companies such as Hyundai, Little Caesars, and Olay have also followed suit. 

More to come ahead

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With the United States dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be much more ahead in helping the relief efforts.

Budweiser taking the initiative to shift more significant attention to the matter has opened the door to other companies to contribute. There remains much to be sorted out with helping those heavily impacted by the virus.

The decision not to do a Super Bowl 55 ad is notable. More importantly, it may be the start to more action helping the country work through the pandemic.