An influx of liquor brands are set to make their Super Bowl advertising debut next February in light of Anheuser-Busch’s decision to forfeit category exclusivity, which it has held since 1989.
Why is this important: While the Super Bowl still offers the biggest audience for advertisers, some longtime marketers are beginning to tire of its exorbitant price tag. At the same time, small brands are allowed to play in a sandbox that was once prohibited.
Between the lines: Anheuser-Busch is the only brand to gain category exclusivity during the Super Bowl, which it achieves by promising to spend ad dollars on other properties belonging to any network showing the big game this year.
- A source with knowledge of those deals tells Axios that it’s likely that Anheuser-Busch no longer felt it was worth spending on those other properties, in addition to reducing its overall big game spending.
- Unlike 1989, there are plenty of other ways to get your brand message out to the masses.
- The Super Bowl has become the game of a younger brand: In February’s Super Bowl LVI, 40% of the game’s announcers were rookies.
What they say : “The Super Bowl is a huge moment for consumers, but it doesn’t necessarily correspond to the key consumer moment for the beer industry,” said Spencer Gordon, vice president of consumer relations at Anheuser. -Busch, to Adweek, which first reported the news on Thursday.
- “We are scaling our investments to ensure our brands reach the right consumers, at the right time, in the right place, with the right messages.”
- Gordon added that Anheuser-Busch still expects to buy ad time during next February’s Super Bowl LVII, which will air on Fox.
Be smart: Anheuser-Busch isn’t the only longtime brand to cut its relationship with the biggest sporting event of the year. Pepsi is ending its 10-year sponsorship of the halftime show.