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Bud Light’s Super Bowl Superiority Is Skunked

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Broken Beer Bottle / Getty ImagesFor a decade, Budweiser and Bud Light commercials owned the Super Bowl ad charts like it was their private courtyard. Each 30-second spot was either simple hilarity (Bud Light) or endearing purity (Budweiser). But just as the Saints ushered in a new era of losers inhering the Lombardi Trophy, the King's formulaic success has been usurped.

USA Today's Ad Meter went with the Betty White Snickers ad, followed by the Doritos shock collar. AOL FanHouse gave it to the E-Trade "Jealous Girlfriend" spot. Fox Sports only placed one Bud Light ad in the top ten. And my personal winner? Volkswagen, if for no other reason, because it validates every tasteless Stevie Wonder joke I have written, said, thought, or telepathically sensed.

Here's why Bud Light didn't do so well. Their formula consists of:

1. Garden variety dumbass guys
2. A couple of token hot girls
3. Unrealistic emphasis on beer over basic needs

Whether it was imminent doom from an asteroid or being stranded on a desert island, Bud Light took precedence. Piggyback off Lost or 2012 all you like, "drinkability" will be ignored in the creeping shadow of predictability.

Then there was this. What … what the hell was this? A voice modulator? Perhaps this was the departure from their fermented breadbasket into a new foray of humor:

1. Garden variety dumbass guys
2. A couple of token hot girls
3. Technology that destroyed the music industry and everything we hold dearly
4. …Guacamole?

I don't want a voice box. I've never wanted a voice box. Nobody has ever wanted a voice box in their entire life. Ed Begley, Jr. could conduct a census and he'd find that 100 percent of America doesn't want a voice box, and that 90 percent of house owners would move if their neighbor bought one. Sorry, Bud Light. But even Stevie Wonder could see that was the worst ad this year.

Even their sister beer, Budweiser, didn't quite deliver. Having won Ad Meter the last two years, they went with yet another animal bromance. The "smile factor" is a keen strategy when trying to vault above gag humor, but unfortunately many other commercials played that gambit better. (Coca-Cola and Google come to mind.)

It's worth commending Anheuser-Busch on their massive run of advertising superiority. But if they're going to return as the Super Bowl champion between the action, they need to re-invigorate their creative outlets. In other words, they're marketing like Betty White out there.

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  • Tony

    The Bud Light ad wasn’t great but I (possibly incorrectly?) took it as a jab at the auto-tune fad in music, which I found at least topically funny.

  • I thought the ads in general were horrible this year.

  • I liked Betty White, though Tebow was meh. Interesting that when I looked at the WSJ unofficial poll the Audi green ad was both the most liked AND the most hated.

  • I must be hard to please. None of the commercials did anything for me, including the so-called offensive Tebow commercial. Meh… I’m just shocked I watched that much network television. It’s more than I’ve seen in a couple of years.

  • Dr. D: I am glad to hear that. Did it hurt? I wish all the dogs that have those stupid shock collars can take them off and place them on their owners.

  • A friend of mine actually did buy one of those shock collars for his dog, and actually did try it on himself out of curiosity. By his account what happened to the guy on the Doritos commercial is pretty accurate.

  • Matt:
    Was gonna do a review of the Super Bowl ads, but got tied up in commenting in politics this morning..So here is my brief overview:

    Besides the fact that I am partial to the Tebow Family Ad, I loved the Betty White Snickers commercial and the E-Trade Baby with his girlfriend, however, I hated the Doritos Dog Shock Collar Ad because, even though it was somewhat of a payback; it made me crazy. Anyone that doesn’t want their dog to bark should not have a dog (animal abuse).

    As far as Bud, the ONLY one that was good was The Bull, Horse Friendship : heartwarming except I felt sorry for the dog, Spot. They should have included him.

    The Green Police and Google were OK, however, ALL the rest were lame, lame, lame; especially the Census Ad (which I wrote about on Saturday).