By Barry Janoff
January 19, 2014: Bud Light now says it is "The perfect beer for whatever happens." A series of Super Bowl teaser spots unveiled over the weekend show that parent company Anheuser-Busch is aiming for exactly that.
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle, Reggie Watts, a llama, a 10-week-old puppy and a llama are all part of the mix for Anheuser-Busch's advertising blitz on Fox during Super Bowl XLVIII on Feb. 2.
The creative push also includes the new tag line, new packaging and the Bud Light Hotel, which will be docked at Pier 88 on the west side of Manhattan and play host to concerts featuring the likes of Foo Fighters, Imagine Dragons, Busta Rhymes and Run-D.M.C..
The Bud Light Hotel, supported by other NFL partners including Pepsi and EA Sports, is just about ten miles from MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ, the site of Super Bowl XLVIII.
This all comes on the heels of the departure of Paul Chibe, who had been Anheuser-Busch's vp-marketing in the U.S. since June 2011, for personal reasons. He is being replaced by John Socquet, who has been vp-marketing in Canada since 2010.
Anheuser-Busch, which has beer category exclusivity during the national broadcast on Fox, has bought some three-and-a-half minutes of time to tell its stories: a 60-second and 30-second spot for Bud, and a 60-second and two 30-second spots for Bud Light.
That is not counting any free time the beer maker might get from the likes of Peyton Manning, who who following the Denver Broncos, 31-24 playoff victory over the San Diego Chargers on Jan. 12, told the media the thing he most wanted was getting "a Bud Light in my mouth," referring to the official beer of the NFL.
"When you introduce a new campaign at the Super Bowl called 'The perfect beer for whatever happens,' there’s an expectation for the unpredictable," Rob McCarthy, vp-Bud Light, said in a statement. "Bud Light lives up to that challenge by documenting an unforgettable adventure that features five special cameos, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Don Cheadle, and Reggie Watts and a llama."
Anheuser-Busch unveiled six teasers over the weekend, giving viewers what McCarthy called "a peek behind the curtain." McCarthy emphasized that people would have to tune-in during the game to see how these seemingly unrelated events form one cohesive story."
Schwarzenegger appears in two of the teasers, in long hair and a headband, preparing to play a game of ping-pong.
Cheadle, currently starring in House of Lies on Showtime, is seen entering a party accompanied by a llama. (See it here.)
Watts is shown in two teaser spots working as a DJ. In one spot, "Reggie Mic," he is in a night club; in the other, "Reggie Frreestyle," he is in a stretch limo that holds members of a bachelorette party.
The sixth spot, "Whatever is Coming," pokes at viewers with the text, "412 actors. 58 hidden cameras. 5 rock stars. 4 celebrities. 1 unsuspecting guy." That last bit of text is followed by a shot of a beautiful young woman in a night club, holding a Bud Light, and asking a guy, "Are you up for whatever happens next?"
"When you introduce a new campaign at the Super Bowl called 'The perfect beer for whatever happens,' there’s an expectation for the unpredictable."
The "Whatever is Coming" theme will be feted out during the Super Bowl broadcast and thereafter with a series of "Epic Nights" spots that will follow unsuspecting people as they engage in journeys in which they encounter celebrates and other surprises, according to Anheuser-Busch.
Support will include "the most robust and digitally integrated campaign in Bud Light history," according to McCarthy,
Part of the Budweiser buy during the Super Bowl includes a spot, "Puppy Love," featuring the aforementioned puppy along with the iconic Clydesdales.
The new tag line replaces "Here we go."
A new Bud Light reclosable aluminum bottle will be unveiled in a spot, "So Cool." The spot was created by Cannonball.
Bud Light's lead agency is BBDO, Bud's lead agency is Anomaly.
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