Michelob Ultra is launching its first TV commercial for its new Infusions line. The ad, hyping the Lime & Prickly Pear Cactus flavor, features three-time Olympic Gold Medalist beach volleyball star Kerri Walsh Jennings — a choice in line with Anheuser Busch’s target of female drinkers keeping an eye on the scale.
The commercial is titled “Summer, Meet Your Beer” from FCB Chicago, but the beer was actually introduced in March. It could be hanging around long after summer ends.
Women’s Health calls Ultra a “beloved keto-friendly, low-calorie light beer.” Ultra has 95 calories a bottle,and in its unfruity version, 2.6 grams of carbohydrates. The new Infused flavor has 5 grams of carbs, still far lower than most beers. Michelob Ultra Infusion also emphasizes its “real, exotic” fruits.
Michelob Ultra previously promised another fruity concoction, Pomegranate & Agave, would be introduced.
Ultra is the rare domestic label actually gaining in popularity. Beer Marketer’s Insights recently predicted that Michelob Ultra will pass Budweiser as the fourth most popular beer in the U.S.
Last year during the NFL season, Bud sales were down 7.2% and Bud Light was down 8.6%, while Ultra sales rose 11.6%, according to Morgan Stanley data.
Anheuser-Busch InBev CEO Carlos Brito said the company wants to push consumers to higher-priced beers like Michelob Ultra and is open to lots of new varieties, while noting that some will thrive while others will bomb.
It’s an old story by now that craft beers are eating into old-line domestic brands, and more and more young drinkers are avoiding beer altogether.
Not that long ago, Budweiser mocked craft beers. “Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale,” Budweiser’s 2015 Super Bowl spot sneered. “The people who like our beer are people who like beer brewed the hard way.”
Bud Light’s “Dilly Dilly” ads also poke fun at craft beer drinkers.
But in April, Budweiser introduced its Discovery Reserve American Red Lager to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing — a brew that includes a “hint of toffee.” And Bud Light makes Lime-a-Rita, a beer/tequila/lime concoction.
Last year Budweiser also introduced its Freedom Reserve Red Lager, brewed with “toasted barley grainsfor a slightly sweet aroma with a touch of hops, a rich caramel malt taste, and a smooth finish with a hint of molasses.” Budweiser said it was “inspired by George Washington's recipe.”