The move marks the first time in 37 years that the brand will not advertise beer at the event. Pepsi and Coca-Cola also won’t be advertising their drinks.
Instead, the Anheuser-Busch InBev beer will use the marketing dollars to support Covid-19 vaccine awareness and access.
As of Friday, roughly 39 million vaccines doses had been distributed and only 19.1 million administered, falling well short of the targets set by the federal government.
In the week leading up to Super Bowl LV, Budweiser plans to run its Super Bowl ad digitally. The spot focuses on resilient Americans during the coronavirus pandemic, including a group of health-care workers who were the first to receive the vaccine. Actress Rashida Jones, known for her roles in “The Office” and “Parks and Recreation,” will narrate the spot.
The beer brand also plans to donate a percentage of its advertising airtime for 2021 to the Ad Council and Covid Collaborative’s Vaccine Education Initiative. Budweiser will support its efforts with additional campaigns throughout the year.
The company also isn’t entirely giving up promoting its beer. Budweiser is giving U.S. consumers who are at least 21 years old a free beer when they visit ABeerOnBud.com between Jan. 25 and Feb. 7. AB InBev’s other brands, including Michelob Ultra, Bud Light and Bud Light Seltzer Lemonade, will have in-game ads during the Super Bowl.