Bud Taps the Spirit of ‘66 in England Euros Ad


Bring It Home


England won a World Cup once, a fact that used to be inescapable in World Cup marketing. But as 1966 slipped out of the memory of younger generations, and the gap since the men’s team’s last trophy lengthened, references to that historic win fell away. The recent trend in big tournament advertising has been a focus on the shared experiences of fans – from personal rituals to the shared bonds of fandom. Brands have put the history of English football on the back burner.

Ironically, it’s taken a US brand – Anheuser-Busch’s international giant Budweiser – to bring memories of 1966 back onto the advertising agenda. Their Euro 2024 ad not only stars Geoff Hurst, the only surviving member of that winning side, but it even features the legendary “some of the crowd are on the pitch…” commentary from the end of the 1966 Final. In the jargon of the sport, this is very Route One stuff.

But it works extremely well. Even though the sporting action is confined to that old footage, and Geoff Hurst’s role is to start a production line of souvenir Budweiser cans, the presence of the legendary player, and the aura of history around him, works effectively as an inspiring cultural reference.

It makes Budweiser’s ad one of the most effective of the Euro 2024 tournament, scoring 4.0-Stars, which predicts strong potential for long-term market share gains. The tournament, though, only lasts a month, and there’s every chance England won’t make it to the end. So it’s the short-term Spike Rating Budweiser should look to as a more important metric. And this is exceptional, one of the highest Spike scores we’ve seen for a beer ad. Brand Fluency is also exceptional and well above the category norm.

So Bud’s ad does exactly the job a tournament ad needs to. It’s tapped into feelings of history and cultural references and made an ad which delights a broad audience as well as its target demographic. The big lesson for marketers here, perhaps, is not to be scared of the obvious. Despite being the national men’s team’s single biggest achievement in football, the 1966 win was going unused in ads – perhaps it was just seen as too big a cliche? Budweiser have shown here that what feels like a cliche to creatives can still be motivating and emotional to your wider audience. Marketers thought it was all over. It turns out they were wrong.

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