LOS ANGELES — After taking a year off, Budweiser's fan-favorite team of Clydesdales is returning to the Super Bowl.
Budweiser -- and the Clydesdales -- are a staple of Super Bowl advertising. But instead of advertising its flagship beer brand during last year's Super Bowl, Anheuser-Busch instead donated that money to COVID-19 vaccine awareness efforts. It was the first Super Bowl in 37 years without a Budweiser ad, though Anheuser-Busch still had 4 minutes of spots for Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and trendier seltzer offerings.
Anheuser-Busch teased the Clydesdales' return in a ten-second trailer, showing one of the iconic horse's hooves as it gallops through a field. You can watch the trailer below.
However, much of the company's 4 minutes of ad time this year is going to trendier beverages -- like Bud Light NEXT, a zero-carb beer "brewed with the tradition and legacy of Bud Light, but created for today’s consumers." Anheuser-Busch's canned cocktail brand Cutwater Spirits is getting its first national commercial. Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda also has a spot -- but the company's original Bud Light doesn't.
Also on tap for the company's Super Bowl lineup: Michelob ULTRA and Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer, another zero-carb drink. Busch Light, Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold and Stella Artois are getting a smaller spotlight with regional placements.
“As we look to this year’s Super Bowl, we are excited to illustrate how Anheuser-Busch is accelerating its transformation and further adapting to today’s consumers,” said Benoit Garbe, Anheuser-Busch's chief marketing officer, in a statement. He said the company's ads will focus on themes of "hope, positivity, and possibility".
NBC has reportedly asked for as much as $6.5 million for a 30-second commercial spot for the 2022 Super Bowl. Anheuser-Busch has been one of the biggest spenders, with nearly four decades of frogs chirping “Budweiser,” guys screaming “Whassup!”, and of course the Budweiser Clydesdales.
NBC will broadcast Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, Feb. 13, from Inglewood, California.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.