Good morning, Fingers fam! Your fearless Fingers editor is waltzing into the workweek with a mild hangover and a superabundance of sodium, having spent most of the afternoon/evening eating buffalo wings and drinking a few lagers as one does on Super Bowl Sunday. Last night’s Big Game was the first NFL game I watched in full in at least a year, and to tell you the truth I only turned it on for the commercials. Not in a “ha, ha the commercials are the best part of the Super Bowl” kind of way but also I guess sort of like that now that I think about it.
Anyway! I’ve written a lot about the Super Bowl advertising hustle here at Fingers, including such bangers as:
So the military-industrial complex walks into a bar...
The Fieri-fication of hard seltzer will absolutely be televised
Wondering where all the digital dive bars went, not realizing they never existed at all
Budweiser's "super-calculated" Super Bowl sidestep (this was from last year’s Super Bowl but still relevant imho!)
I also published a fun pair of stories at VinePair this past week that you should read instead of trying to work today about the logistics and chronology of Anheuser-Busch InBev’s three-plus decades of owning the exclusive rights to in-game advertising for alcohol/beer during the nation’s premier marketing/promotional event of the year.
That’s a lot of Super Bowl beverage-brand advertising coverage, if I do say so myself. So rather than bludgeoning you with yet another of my takes, today I want to hear from you instead. Some prompts:
Was it in Guy Fieri’s contract with ABI to show up to the game wearing the wardrobe from his Bud Light Hard Seltzer Soda ad?
Will any of ABI’s half-dozen ads (played out over the macrobrewer’s whopping four minutes of national air) actually inspire you to drink one of the brands advertised?
The weird techno-optimistic futurism of Bud Light Next’s debut spot—discuss!
Do you have thoughts on that regional Liquid Death spot?
Why in the world did Rémy Cointreau drop a bag again to advertise The Botanist Gin in the middle of February… and rehash a vague “save restaurants” message to boot?
How did you think of last night’s Super Bowl ads in the beer/booze/general beverage category stacked up to those in the recent past?
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I’d love to hear your take(s) on any/all of the above—or something else entirely! This comment thread is open to everyone, and I’ll be in and out throughout the day. Have a good day, and remember to stay hydrated… or should I say Guy-drated?! No, I should not. Do not try to hydrate with Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, you maniacs. See you in the comments!—Dave.
I should get a job at a Super Bowl ad agency because I’m an expert at remembering shit from the ’80s and ’90s.
I don't think we got the Liquid Death spot here but in watching it on the interwebs, I think it's kind of cute? My friends in the brand/legal side of the booze world seem to be a bit aghast over it though.
Other than that... the most interesting thing to me has been that my brother was there and paid $20 for a tall Modelo draft (in that I'm mostly impressed he could find a non A-B product).
the Bud Light zero carb drink completely derailed my Bowl viewing because i had to google "how do they make beer with no carbs" and then found the slightly bonkers (to me) quote from a Budweiser VP that the super secret process of taking the carbs out of beer was "very, very, very, very challenging." then i started spiraling thinking about scientists working in a lab for 10 years trying to take carbs out of beer, using some kind of particle accelerator. anyway it seems like it's going to be a bad-tasting experience lol
You've hooked me in on two of my favourite topics—beer and advertising.
Bud Light Next ad is a vibe, but so very clear that the agency were asked "Can you take everything that this young audience love about Euphoria and turn it into a :45 family friendly advert?
That "Loud Flavour" advert is just straight up terrible. Couldn't make it through.
Some of the world's best adverts were for beer: Guinness' "Surfer", Budweiser's "Wassup" and Dos Equis' "Most Interesting Man in the World" are a few that come to mind.
Hate to roll out the cliche, but they don't make 'em like they used to.
Didn't watch. Don't care. Does that make me a bad beer writer?
Fwiw, ABI got skunked by the post-game ad rankers for the seventh-straight year: https://www.stltoday.com/business/local/anheuser-busch-super-bowl-ads-miss-industry-mark-again/article_23e96db5-44dd-5cdd-9476-cf48ed290772.html
I know I said I was going to shut up but one thing I wanted to add to this advertising conversation was this depressing aside from Luke O'Neil (publisher of the very-good Welcome To Hell World newsletter, everybody go subscribe) about all the millennial nostalgia-bait in last night's commercials (Sopranos x Chevy, Lebowski x Mich Ultra) and Dr. Dre-anchored halftime show:
"[I]f you wanted to experience the sense of the rushing onset of your own mortality you could have simply watched the Super Bowl halftime show last night featuring Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg and all them. I thought it was great by the way but then again I am in my forties so I have a conflict of interest here. What a night! Sopranos and Lebowski ads and middle aged rappers. This must have been what it felt like to be a boomer all those years. Yes it’s cynically having your own nostalgia sold back to you but on the other hand at least someone is recognizing you exist."