SuperBowl Commercials: 2015


Oh, the other terrible Super Bowl commercial was the Budweiser “fuck-you-microbrews” ad. We make a tasteless, watery beer for real men! Not like those expensive mamby pamby craft beers! You wanna be a man, right? Budweiser muthafukka!


It didn’t make me want to suddenly start drinking Budweiser, but it seemed like a decent commercial. Don’t try to compete with craft beers, just embrace that you’re not after the same market.


Budweiser is desperate. They’ve lost 40% of their market in ten years.

Firstly, and probably most importantly, young people aren’t drinking Budweiser. Even Budweiser admits that this is a major problem. And how could it not? Nearly half of young drinkers between the ages of 21 and 27 haven’t even tried the beer, according to the company’s own research.

Budweiser’s tumble, meanwhile, coincides with a furious increase in craft beer, which stands for the very opposite of Budweiser—small batch (even if often unfairly). And that’s likely of little coincidence. Big, non-craft beers have been suffering amid the rise of craft beer. Since 1998, non-craft brewers have lost more than 10 percent of the overall beer market, more than 5 percent of which has gone to craft brewers.

I get that Bud hates craft beers even as AB has gone on a microbrewery buying spree the past couple of years. This commercial just made them look sad and bitter.


The Kickstart dancing commercial was pretty entertaining, even on a second and third view (it ran A LOT during the pre-game). I LOL’d at First Draft, that one was clever. Clash of Clans / Liam Neeson was funny as well, and I laughed at the Morphie (phone charger) one with God’s cell phone being low battery.

That said, there was way too much emotional bullshit in this year’s commercials. It’s like every ad agency in the world looked at the response to last year’s Budweiser puppy commercial and decided that tugging at heartstrings was a better way to win over consumers than making them laugh. The cumulative effect was that I began to loathe any commercial that looked even remotely like it was trying to connect with me on a level other than humor.

So many car commercials that wanted to speak to me about being a dad, as if what kind of car I drive has fuck all to do with the kind of father I am. My pick for winning car commercials of the evening : Jeep for the cool spot showing off it’s SUV while showing off America, and KIA, for the funny Pierce Brosnan spot playing off his former Bond role.

WTF Awards go out to the Jeff Bridges commercial, the toe fungus commercial (featuring a gross toe with fungal “hair” in a football helmet, pass the dip!), the Coke spot which somehow came off as making light of cyberbullying, and of course the godawful piece of shit that was the Nationwide commercial. How the hell did a dozen people in a room somewhere approve that? I can see the Nationwide CEO this morning saying “We spent 4.5 million of our advertising budget to bring DEAD KIDS to the Super Bowl? Fire everyone associated with this, now.”

Honorable mention goes to Game of War for once again embarrassing the video game industry by making it look like all gamers are horny 15-year-old boys, especially given the past year’s increase in awareness of the impact of objectification of women in video gaming. Stay classy Game of War. Also winning honorable mention is Toyota (I think it was) for featuring “Cat’s in the Cradle” in their commercial about absent fathers, a song that was written and performed by a singer who died in a car crash.


The Budweiser anti-craft beer commercial seemed to me to be saying, “when you don’t care what your beer tastes like, and you’re just looking to get wasted, we’re the brand you can trust to get you there!”. Not exactly the message they wanted to convey I’m guessing.


There’s a place for the American Adjunct Lagers, and there’s probably a proper way to sell them, but Samuel Jackson-style “It’ll get you drunk!” is not an attractive look.


I think “desperate” is overstating a bit. Budweiser isn’t so much a beer anymore as it is a brand in the InBev portfolio. InBev’s having record profits. They’re just going to run brand boosting ads for as long as they feel like it’s worth it.


I forgot about the weird Coke cyber-bullying ad. Man, that was weird, too.


Oh, and the same thing applies to Coors and Miller. None of those are really independent breweries the way they were when most of us were growing up in the 80s and 90s. Now they’re simply brands in mega-beverage company portfolios.

AB-InBev doesn’t care whether they’re selling Budweiser, Stella, Bass or Corona.

SABMiller doesn’t care whether they’re selling Miller Lite, Foster’s, or Leinenkugel.

Molson-Coors feels the same way about Coors and Carling and Killians and Blue Moon.


The funny thing is that Budweiser, through smaller wholly owned brands, makes the exact beers they were making fun of in the ad. They are in the process of buying a company called Elysian that actually makes a peach-pumpkin beer which they tried to insult.

I thought the lost puppy coming home and being defended by the Clydesdales was really cute. They know how to pull on those strings for sure.

There was also one with Kate Upton or someone who looked like her that caught my eye, but I was making fried pickles at the time so I’m not sure what that was about.


This just in! Sugar water fixes EVERYTHING.

And I can’t believe nobody has mentioned McDonald’s bragging about how they are going to let you “pay” for your food by calling your mom and telling her you love her. That’ll go over great for someone with a dead mom. And how are we going to do this idiot stunt in the drive-through lane? They won’t give me any goddamn ketchup unless I beg, but they LOOOOVE me?

Just charge my credit card, asshole.


This is a pretty good run-down of that ad.


Kudos to the NFL for that well-done 911/Pizza spot. It would have been much more impressive if all the other commercials weren’t ALSO grim and depressing.

I also want to give some props to the Linsey Lohan Esurance spot. “We’ve both got a lot of mileage. Believe me.”


Yup. That’s been a semi-big story in these parts. Lots of people all flustered that Bud bought Elysian, which is kind of dumb IMHO because most of the time when a big brewery buys a craft beer, they just let them continue operating their niche with little interference. The Elysian guys are definitely happy.

But it does server to further highlight the hypocrisy of the ad.


The Nationwide/Breaking Bad ad was pretty awesome.


…and again “Budweiser” isn’t buying out any craft breweries, because “Budweiser”–and even Anheuser Busch–aren’t a thing anymore.

When InBev bought AB, they agreed to give AB two seats on the board, which is still a huge minority position, and put AB’s name in the company name. That was mostly done as shareholder service for InBev so that folks would care a little less about the last big American conglomerate brewery being bought out by foreign beverage company based in Brazil.

There are Bud breweries in the US. They’ve done yeoman work–as have the other two major groups who bought Coors and Miller–of making American consumers continue to think of those beers as an American thing…but all that is anymore is branding strategy.


Their ads have nothing to do with their service or food and reek of desperation. They cost the most of any fast-food franchise to start and their profit margins have been dwindling and their market share has tanked 40%. I expect the unthinkable - I predict McDonalds corporate will file bankruptcy in 2018. Without corporate support some franchises will still do well for a while but I expect McDonalds to be almost gone by 2022 unless they turn around drastically.

Letting you pay for a meal by calling your Mom is sure to increase their profitability.


No love for the Chevy Superbowl Blackout ad? You should have heard the wife freak out. We were thisclose to driving to a bar. I’m still chuckling about that.


I really want to see them pull that shit in Manhattan during the breakfast rush.


Also, I idly wondered if Bud gave any credit to Frank Lantz for live-action Pac-man.