The sponsorship, part of the launch campaign for Bud Light Golden Wheat (which will debut in stores nationwide on Oct. 5), will mark the first time in the show's 35-season history that a single advertiser has purchased all of the show's advertising time.
"SNL" will feature highlights from "SNL" viewing parties that will be hosted by Bud Light Golden Wheat across the country on Saturday evening. A-B will also use innovative formats such as "Backstage with Bud Light Golden Wheat," a series of never-before-aired clips from "SNL" shows over the years.
Anheuser-Busch VP of Marketing Keith Levy said that the opportunity to "integrate the brand into" the show was "too good to pass up." In addition to being "authentically" incorporated into the show and giving viewers "unprecedented back stage access" during regular commercial slots, the novel sponsorship will "generate talk value among contemporary adult beer drinkers," he noted in the announcement.
NBC Universal Ad Sales President Mike Pilot described the sponsorship as illustrating "the kind of deal we mean when we talk about wanting to innovate with our clients." Executive producer Lorne Michaels, noting that A-B has supported "SNL" since its early days, said the show is happy to be chosen as the venue for the product launch.
Golden Wheat, an unfiltered wheat brewed with citrus and "a hint of coriander," has 118 calories and 4.1% alcohol content, and is available in 12-ounce glass bottles, 22-ounce single-serve bottles and draught.
This is the third Bud Light brand extension, as A-B seeks to appeal to light beer drinkers who like having a variety of flavor options. The brewer successfully launched Bud Light Chelada and Bud Light Lime last year.