Budweiser creates a ‘Super’ experience

The beer co's marketing manager reveals the strategy behind its Canadian Super Bowl spot.

Sunday’s game may be played on the football field, but Budweiser knows that for many Canadians, sports equals hockey.

That’s why Budweiser decided to surprise two rec league teams with the professional treatment for its Super Bowl commercial, visiting a hockey rink in Port Credit, ON. with a mob of screaming fans, announcers and a camera crew, says Ben Seaton, marketing manager at Budweiser.

“We have done a lot in terms of the Super Bowl historically and we recognize that it is an amazing opportunity to talk to a lot of sports fans,” he says. “We thought that if we did something that was grounded in emotion and passion it was an opportunity to spread the spot beyond the typical viewing audience. It is the kind of spot that evokes a great feeling. You want to be the guy on the ice and also want to be there soaking it in too.”

The spot, which saw New York-based Anomaly on creative and UM and Marketel on media, was leaked online this week in advance of the Super Bowl to build the groundswell of hype necessary to make a big splash on game day, says Seaton.

“We wanted to capitalize on the fact that as North Americans we are all getting ready for game day,” he says. “The leaked commercials are out there and we want to be part of that natural conversation. I don’t think the broadcast alone can make you stand out. It gives you the eyeballs, but I think there is so much going on in the digital space prior to the game that you need to be part of that action.”

Seaton says the ad aims to set the beer co apart from others in the market by giving back to its target market of hockey loving men.

“That humanistic element really helps differentiate it,” he says. “It brings a ton of value to the guys on the ice, [and] shows that Bud is doing hockey in a different way.”

He adds the rec league players were genuinely surprised by the mob of fans, playing with more energy as they cheered.

The spot will be promoted with an online ad buy on sports sites after the Super Bowl, says Seaton.