A-B Continues Big Game Dominance

Discussion
Feb 06, 2006
George Anderson

By George Anderson


When the discussion of dynasties comes up, there is always a debate often along generational lines on who was the strongest: Lombardi’s Packers, Chuck Noll’s Steelers, the Niners under Bill Walsh and George Seifert and, more recently, Bill Belichek and the Patriots.


While all these teams deserve to be considered in any discussion of the greatest dynasties of all time, none of them can match the dominance of the Busch family’s Clydesdales and Bud and Bud Light beer lineup.


For the eighth consecutive year, Anheuser-Busch has taken home the trophy for USA Today’s Annual Ad Meter competition during the Super Bowl. To see the commercials that
played during the big game, go
here
.


The most valuable commercial in this year’s lineup from the brewer was a spot right out of the Three Stooges or Abbot and Costello. The commercial included a refrigerator in front of a revolving wall that would move when guests went to grab a beer. Of course, the Bud packed refrigerator would end up in the neighboring apartment much to the delight of those on the other side of the wall.


Bud and Bud Light commercials were dominant with six of the top 10 spots. Others making the list included Fedex and Sierra Mist. Ameriquest had two spots in the top 10.


Moderator’s Comment: What is your assessment of this year’s crop of Super Bowl commercials? Which ones were the most and/or least effective and why?

George Anderson – Moderator

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15 Comments on "A-B Continues Big Game Dominance"


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Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
15 years 22 days ago

The ads were not necessarily better this year, but fewer “silly” ads (okay – Burger King aside) and no ads where you are left wondering what the heck the ad was about. And yes, the rotating refrigerator ad was my favorite.

Kai Clarke
Guest
15 years 22 days ago

This year’s ads were a mix of bad, really bad and some good ones. Burger King and GoDaddy.com were truly cruel, as they confronted our senses and the realm of good taste. However, Budweiser had some very good Clydesdale commercials and revolving beer wall ads. Unfortunately, most were not delivering a clear message, or moving us to action (i.e. buy their product). This is the true measure of a great commercial. Without this valuable yardstick, we often forget why advertisers spend so much money to be on the Super Bowl (and unfortunately, so do the advertisers).

M. Jericho Banks PhD
Guest
M. Jericho Banks PhD
15 years 22 days ago
As a Missouri bartender in the 70s, I attended Budweiser’s Beer-Tenders School in St. Louis and had plenty of access to the Clydesdale Barn. We all spent up-close-and-personal time with the majestic equines, and they were absolutely awe-inspiring in many ways. (For example, their copious road deposits. One Clydesdale was called “Avalanche.”) However, it wasn’t until years later that A-B recognized their promotional value and, consequently, the promotional value of several other animal species including frogs, chameleons, alligators, and slackers. A-B discovered that with enough money, they could connect funny animals with alcoholic beverages. Who’d a thunk it? They decided to entertain first and sell beer second. It worked for them. Measuring advertising effectiveness is a difficult process at best. Do the spots communicate your intended message clearly? Has your investment provided a satisfactory ROI? Many, many Super Bowl ads fail these two tests. As a CLIO-winner for two Super Bowl campaigns – Dancing Raisins and Sexy Robot (Kathleen Turner’s voice with Sorayama robots selling the benefits of food in cans) – I’ve experienced both… Read more »
Charlie Moro
Guest
Charlie Moro
15 years 22 days ago

I have to admit that my favorite was the AmeriQuest medical misunderstanding…but that may have to do with my “unique” sense of humor…. You have to give it to A&B for dominating the ad message in such a way that, does anyone remember that Michelob had an ad or did we just think it was for another variety of Bud Lite? Go Steelers!

Gene Hoffman
Guest
Gene Hoffman
15 years 22 days ago

The Super Bowl show was a night of hectic fan and commercial chauvinism, a half time old folks melodrama, and some unique officiating. The commercials all strived, in their excessive and costly exuberance, to win the coveted award for being most unusual.

Personally, I thought the Fed Ex commercial got its message across effectively as did the Budweiser commercial of the young colt rising to an adult challenge while secretly being helped by his devoted mentors.

We, the viewing public, do not seem to understand the real difference between appropriateness and fiscal prudence, reality and common sense, consent and power. Our society, in general, doesn’t seem to teach us these things.

Ron Margulis
Guest
15 years 22 days ago

The two I like best were the careerbuilder.com ads with the chimps running the office. The Bud ads, while effective, weren’t as engaging as in years past. The only innovative one was the stadium crowd wave. Overall, there really wasn’t anything that made my jaw go even a little slack, and there certainly wasn’t anything close to the 1984 Mac ad.

Camille P. Schuster, PhD.
Guest
15 years 22 days ago

I do agree that I could tell what the ads were for; however, that merely makes the ads “not bad;” it doesn’t make them good. My first impression was that there were not any truly outstanding ads. My second impression is that some were amazingly disappointing like the Diet Pepsi ad. My third impression is that several were cute or interesting: the revolving door, the Clydesdales, the GoDaddy commercial.

Matt Werhner
Guest
Matt Werhner
15 years 22 days ago
The past few years have delivered quite a few poor ads and this year’s lineup certainly didn’t do anything to redeem the past. Unfortunately many commercials displayed a total lack of creativity and never produced the great humorous moments we have all come to expect. There were a few stand-out commercials from Fed-Ex, AmeriQuest, and Anheuser-Busch (bring back the Bud Bowl!). GoDaddy.com – bad commercial, good hype. Their marketing department is doing something right because they were receiving major pre and post game hype. Isn’t that what it’s all about? We have come to expect great commercials from Anheuser-Busch. It would be extremely disappointing if they failed to deliver, but that failure could possibly deliver more PR than the commercial spots. Then again, maybe not – see Coke, Pepsi. With all of the talk about the growing number of women watching the Super Bowl, I was surprised to see the low number of ads geared towards women. I expect to see this number increase slightly next year. Overall, the Super Bowl ad season was average… Read more »
Bill Bishop
Guest
Bill Bishop
15 years 22 days ago

This year’s ads were, for the most part, not particularly memorable. A good exception, I think, were both the FedEx and the AB ad with the little Clydesdale pony. But beyond that, most were not memorable and, surprising, some weren’t even created for introduction at the Super Bowl, i.e., they seemed to be repeats.

The sort of subliminal impression of all this is that the promoters really had to beat the bush to fill their ad schedule, and this would suggest that advertising on the Super Bowl is not what it used to be and has entered the area of diminishing returns.

Al McClain
Guest
Al McClain
15 years 22 days ago

This year’s crop of ads was pretty boring – which I think is an overreaction to criticism of ads of recent years. I thought the Ameriquest ads were excellent entertainment, but not sure they did anything for the brand. Worst ads included GM Hummer – the little monster – what the heck was that supposed to do for the brand? Also, the monkeys and anything else with animals in human roles – someday we’ll figure out why putting monkeys in human roles is considered so hysterical. And, Jackie Chan was a big waste of 2.5MM. At least the game was good for 3 and 1/2 quarters.

David O'Neil
Guest
David O'Neil
15 years 22 days ago

Does A-B dominate? I would say that A-B and Pepsi have had a great rivalry for years with who has the best ads. This year, I felt that A-B won the contest between the two. A-B and Pepsi are fixtures in the Super Bowl ad competition, but there are always a few small players that come and go as do their business cycles. I enjoyed the A-B ads this year, but I also enjoyed the Ameriquest -Airline ad, Sprint Anti-Theft (throwing the phone) and the FedEx ad.

rod taylor
Guest
rod taylor
15 years 22 days ago
I thought the ads were relatively banal, with the Pepsi ads being downright bad. When you compare A-B’s ads with some of their past work you realize what relatively lightweight, innocuous stuff they’re doing. In 1984, prior to the hugely successful and patriotic Los Angeles Olympics, A-B ran a spot that just dropped folks in their tracks. It depicted two grizzled old cowpokes standing in front of their barn. You figure it’s time yet?” one asks the other. “I reckon,” the other laconically replies. The cowboys saunter across their fields on foot until they reach a barbed wire fence running alongside of a dusty country rode that seems to drift off into nothingness. Out from a dip in the rode comes a single runner striding towards them bearing an Olympic Torch, followed by a lone support vehicle. As the runner comes abreast of these two old cowboys they both start a slow clap as they track his progress by them with their Stetsoned heads. The commercial took me from not caring about their spot to… Read more »
Ben Ball
Guest
15 years 22 days ago

Overall, I’d give this year’s ads a “B.”

On the top end, you just can’t watch that little Clydesdale colt ad without getting some deep down goodwill feelings toward A-B. And I know I’m not the only frequent flyer on the panel who got a kick out of the Ameriquest “air turbulence” spot (you know who you are!).

On the worst list have to be the Hummer ad, Emerald Nuts and the “Green suits.” But the biggest surprise to me in the USA Today ratings was the reception consumers gave the Gillette Fusion ads. Didn’t a P&G spokesman say just last week that the Fusion launch was “not just a new product launch, but the repositioning of the entire Gillette shaving line…” or something to that effect? The ads certainly got the feature/benefit story across, but they obviously didn’t ignite the consumer excitement afterburners it seems.

Bernice Hurst
Guest
15 years 21 days ago

Yet again I was disappointed in the Super Bowl this year. For obvious reasons we were shown ads for products available in the UK rather than the US but I was looking forward to the half time show, at least, and all we got was Mick’s first two numbers. Not that I am, or ever have been, a big Stones fan but I really would have liked to get a firsthand flavour of what you guys were seeing. All I got was the game. Woe is me.

Daryle Hier
Guest
Daryle Hier
15 years 21 days ago

Just a quick observation. The revolving fridge and the Clydesdale ads were OK. The Ameriquest ads, what are we selling? I’m not a big fan of Super Bowl ads because usually it’s an ad agency trying for the home run, while the company is once again desperately trying to get its product sold – and this game almost never works … plus to add to the misery, ugh, the Steelers won.

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