Budweiser's Super Bowl ad will retell the story of the brand's cofounder Adolphus Busch's 1857 journey from Germany to St. Louis in the United States, Adweek reports.
The "Born the Hard Way" 60-second spot is described by Adweek as a "gritty, compelling" period film about Busch's early steps toward creating the world's largest brewer.
Set on the Mississippi River, the ad sees a battered Busch — played by Sam Schweikert — jump off a burning steamboat on to the muddy St Louis shore. The famous Budweiser Clydesdale horses will also make a cameo. It ends with Busch having a beer with the company's cofounder Eberhard Anheuser.
The company released a 15-second teaser of the ad on January 27. The full ad will be released on YouTube at some point during the week before the game.
Laura Rowan, group strategy director, read some of the script to Adweek: "This is the story of the original self-made man, one of the founders of the American Dream, making it the hard way, and his path that all came after him followed ... We then see the words appear: 'When nothing will stop your dream, this is the beer you'll drink.' We end with the Budweiser logo and [tagline], 'This Bud's for you."
Budweiser's vice president of marketing Ricardo Marques noted that the ad is relevant in today's political climate, but said the brand did not intend for the ad to make a political statement.
He said: "There's really no correlation with anything else that's happening in the country. We believe this is a universal story that is very relevant today because probably more than any other period in history today the world pulls you in different directions, and it's never been harder to stick to your guns."
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Budweiser declined to reveal how much it paid for the ad, but Adweek estimated the production would cost in the range of $2 million to $3 million. Super Bowl broadcaster Fox is charging more than $5 million for a 30-second ad slot this year. Plus, Budweiser owner AB InBev has secured exclusive rights for advertising during the big game, where it will also promote its Bud Light, Busch, and Michelob Ultra brands.
Budweiser has created some of the most memorable Super Bowl ads, with its 2014 "Puppy Love" spot still holding the title of the most-watched Super Bowl ad of all time, according to YouTube.
This year's ad carries particular significant as the brand looks to arrest its declining US sales, which were down by "single mid digits" in AB InBev's third quarter. Estimated total market share for the brand was down approximately
20 basis points in the period, AB InBev said.
Last summer, the brand renamed itself "America," swapping out the name Budweiser for "America" on all its packaging in the US. But the campaign was largely seen as a flop, causing a lot of its perception ratings to actually go into decline, according to YouGov BrandIndex data.
Earlier this month, Budweiser decided to end its sponsorship of the US Olympics team, ending a 32 year partnership.
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