"It is absolutely essential for us to kick off our selling season with Super Bowl," says Bob Lachky,
Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc.'s executive vice president of global industry development, who oversees advertising. "It's always the guys who can't get their work on the Super Bowl who say it's not
worth it," he adds. While A-B has a roughly 50% U.S. market share, it is struggling against encroachment by imported and craft beers, along with wine and spirits.
The company put together a list of 75 to 100 ideas for Super Bowl ads in September, then made about 30 of those pitches into actual commercials. While some marketers paid up to $2.6 million for a 30-second spot this year, Lachky says Anheuser-Busch boughtits ads at a lower price, although he declined to disclose how much of a discount the company got.