super bowl

At The Super Bowl, Broncos Win, Budweiser Fumbles

While the Denver Broncos were the clear winners in Super Bowl 50’s tight defensive game, Budweiser was among the night’s bigger ad yawns. That is, until quarterback Peyton Manning told not one but two interviewers he intended to spend the big night drinking a bunch of Budweiser. The brand quickly started trending on Twitter, driven mostly by people wondering how much Manning had been paid to shill for Bud (and complaining that there were no puppies in the beer company’s ads.)

“It sure felt like a paid placement,” says Steve McKee, president of McKee Wallwork + Co., the Albuquerque, N.M.-based ad agency that tracks Super Bowl ads each year. He also thought Budweiser’s one product ad in the game “was, overall a letdown, although it was hard not to love the way the guy flicked the orange slice off his beer.” He was even turned off by the Helen Mirren ad for Budweiser, lambasting the "pillocks" who drive drunk with lines like "If you donated your brain to science, science would reject it."



"It was great until she started selling beer. If they had ended the spot halfway through, it would have been the best ad in the game," he tells Marketing Daily.

For this year’s Adbowl, the agency did away with real-time voting. Instead, its site includes all the ads, continuously tracking how many times each has been viewed. Automotive ads are leading, with Hyundai’s “Chase” currently in first place, followed by Mini’s “#DefyLabels,” and Hyundai’s “First Date,” with comedian Kevin Hart. Doritos’ Ultrasound is in fourth, and Mountain Dew’s PuppyMonkeyBaby is ranking  No. 5.

That spot, however, came in for more than the usual amount of lambasting on Twitter. “I don't even know what #puppymonkeybaby was supposed to be advertising. All I know is the fear,” says one. Adds another: “I'm scared of commercial breaks now... #puppymonkeybaby might start lickin' stuff again.”

McKee says he was partial to Audi ad using the astronaut. "All the demographics were right, and he was believable as a retired astronaut. It was both creative and strategic."

But he found Liam Neeson’s spot for LG to be a letdown, the Marmot spot to be "just weird," and the "too overproduced to be effective."

He expects the more notorious ads to rack up more views in coming weeks. "That’s the way these ads work now. The Super Bowl is only the beginning, and the views will start building up in the hours and weeks ahead. It’s a long game."

6 comments about "At The Super Bowl, Broncos Win, Budweiser Fumbles".
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  1. Tom Denford from ID Comms Inc, February 8, 2016 at 7:45 a.m.

    The SuperBowl is a media and advertising phenomenon, we investigate why? #MediaSnack

  2. James p Campbell from LTE Network LLC, February 8, 2016 at 1:09 p.m.

    AUDI's Retired Commander was the best spot!  Hit that tradition AMERICAN heartfelt spirit. The thing Budweiser used to do?  What happened to all the GREAT Bud Light commecials of the past.

  3. Don Klos from KMC, February 8, 2016 at 1:39 p.m.

    One of the networks reported that they investigated and were told Bud did not pay Manning for the plug.

  4. Philip Moore from Philip Moore, February 8, 2016 at 1:46 p.m.

    I agree with Garfield...the Commander spot was insensitive.  The director should have had the actor come across as bored rather than a victim of Alzheimer's.  The premise was okay, but the execution was in poor taste.  The only ad that got a laugh out of my wife was Doritos Ultrasound. The most memorable for me was also the most painful, Mike Tyson pitching a plumbing company by singing their jingle (out of key).

  5. Doug Garnett from Protonik, LLC, February 8, 2016 at 4:58 p.m.

    I loved the commander spot - and I usually hate Audi's work. Their vampire spot a couple of years ago told me a $90K car has good headlights. Duh. 

    Perhaps I connected better, though, because I worked in rockets and space at the beginning of my career. Both on the nostalgia - but also because I wish the aged people in our families could experience the freedom and joy more often that was reflected in the spot.

    On Manning... Budweiser tweeted out that they were not connected to it. But I've been told through the grapevine that Manning owns a couple of Bud distributorships.

  6. Patty Ardis from Ardis Media, LLC, February 10, 2016 at 12:03 p.m.

    I agree the whole spectrum of ads that ran during the game were a huge letdown for one reason or another but the biggest thing that made me scratch my head was Mr. Manning’s most fervent expressed wish for a Budwiser. I know he is not stupid and he is most likely very aware of what marketing and advertising and sponsorships can do as he himself shills pizza and insurance among many products. So to hear him give this very deliberate mention not once but twice really felt to me very calculated and greedy. I was disappointed that we just couldn’t have a moment in the game free of mentions, advertising and just hear him express real emotion not something cooked up by a PR team or his marketing team. At some point, people want authenticity, but given how things work I might be asking too much.

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