The Booziest Super Bowl Yet: How Alcohol Brands Performed at the Big Game
With AB InBev relinquishing their alcohol advertising exclusivity for Super Bowl LVII, many wondered whether this year would be the booziest advertising landscape yet. AB InBev returned with a bevy of ads for their brands, but now parent companies like Diageo, Molson Coors and Boston Beer Company were no longer relegated to regional buys for Crown Royal, Miller Lite, Coors Light, Blue Moon and Sam Adams respectively.
At System1, we test all the Super Bowl ads with our Test Your Ad platform to understand their short- and long-term commercial impact. Test Your Ad assigns ads a Star Rating, from 1 to 5.9-Stars, based on an ad’s ability to drive market share growth. Usually only 1% of ads secure a 5-Star score.
In 2020, beer and spirits ads that aired during the event averaged a modest 2.2-Stars, a result that doesn’t move the needle on market share gain and profit gain. In 2021, the category improved to 2.9-Stars, then dipped slightly to 2.8-Stars in 2022. This year, despite the hype, the average remained nearly unchanged at 2.9-Stars.
AB InBev’s decades of experience led them to land the Top 3 ads for alcoholic beverages for three different beers. A few rival ads performed well though – Crown Royal, Sam Adams and Molson-Coors’ triple-header Coors/Miller/Blue Moon ad all narrowly landed 3-Stars. Beer was still the overall winner compared to spirits, with even Serena Williams failing to nudge Remy Martin into the Top 3. However, she did manage to star in the top-scoring ad for Michelob.
The Top Alcohol Ads of Super Bowl LVII
This year, the top five alcohol advertisers are:
ULTRA Club I New Members Day
This star-studded spot from Michelob features Serena Williams, Brian Cox, Tony Romo and others in an homage to 1980 golf comedy Caddyshack. Michelob packed plenty of visual gags in and leveraged this year’s most successful theme of nostalgia and cultural references to land a strong 4-Star score.
Miles Teller and his wife Keleigh Sperry star in an unusual but very successful beer ad, which trades in-your-face celebrity cameos for a fun, romantic moment. The ad borrows from the viral TikTok “hold music” trend, showcasing how the beer can make a dull moment better.
The Busch Guide I Shelter
Busch Light bring their new “Busch Guide” Fluent Device to the Super Bowl, dispensing his tongue-in-cheek advice on survival in the great outdoors. This ad guest-stars singer Sarah McLachlan as the butt of the joke, but it’s good-natured enough to land a 3-Star score. There’s an excellent use of a brand asset, too, with the mountains on the Busch Light can turning up at the start of the ad.
Thank You Canada
To honor Crown Royal’s Canadian roots, Diageo enlisted the help of Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl to showcase the many wonders of the country, from peanut butter to ironing boards to hockey to batteries. While the patriotic spot is a solid debut that scored 3.1-Stars, it may have been better served by branding earlier, as Crown Royal doesn’t make itself known until more than 50 seconds into the minute-long commercial.
Your Cousin’s Brighter Boston
Viewers saw the return of loveable goof “Your Cousin From Boston” in an ad that fondly pays homage to the home town of Boston Beer. In store to buy a multipack of Sam Adams Boston Lager, Your Cousin picks up on the phrase “A Brighter Boston” and slips into a reverie about what his city might be like if Bostonians suddenly started behaving ‘brighter.’ A solid 3-Stars shows the campaign’s Fluent Device is building nicely.
With alcohol advertising exclusivity no longer in place, it opened up the door for many brands to air national ads during the big game. In 2023, they didn’t manage to topple AB InBev, but 2022’s winner Sam Adams proves that Bud won’t always have it their own way.