Bud Light Seltzer’s Super Bowl ad spotlights new line, stars Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri in Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda’s Super Bowl commercial

Source: Bud Light

Bud Light Seltzer hopes a Super Bowl ad starring renowned chef Guy Fieri will help boost sales in an increasingly crowded drink category.

The ad, which the brand says will mark Fieri’s first Super Bowl ad appearance ever, plays out the Food Network host’s well-known slogan: “Welcome to Flavortown.”

It’s a good match with Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, according to Anheuser-Busch InBev, because it does not contain sugar or caffeine, but has “the loudest taste ever.” The ad shows partygoers reaching into a refrigerator that takes them to the “Land of Loud Flavors,” where Fieri is mayor.

“These are big launches, so being able to have the Super Bowls platform with a product like that and Guy Fieri … is really special to us,” said Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light. “This is the 40th year in the Super Bowl for Bud Light.”

Companies often use Super Bowl ad space to focus on new products. Although the National Football League’s ratings fell last year, advertisers are hard pressed to find other events with such a large audience.

And the timing seems to be right for Bud Light Seltzer Hard Soda, which launched its variety of citrus, orange, cola and cherry cola flavors in January. It is the latest iteration under the Bud Light Seltzer brand, which debuted about two years ago.

NBC is charging as much as $ 6.5 million for 30-second ad slots for this year’s NFL championship game, which takes place on February 13th.

For Bud Light Seltzer, the high price tag could be worth it. After several years of rapid growth, the pace of hard seltzer sales gains has slowed, which has given some companies a blow.

Really owns Boston Beer, for example, so its stock value halved over the last 12 months, as the company’s rosy expectations of selling hard seltzer never came true. Euromonitor International estimates that the U.S. hard seltzer sales category only rose 35.1% in 2021 after rising 64.1% in 2020 and 126.5% in 2019.

As growth lags, competition has increased, putting seltzer brands in a fierce battle for market share. JP Morgan estimates that Bud Light Seltzer’s share of the hard seltzer market has deteriorated, declining by 4.1% to 8.2% in the four weeks ending December 4, compared to the same period last year.

MKM Partners analyst Bill Kirk wrote in a note to clients that he predicts that Bud Light Seltzer and Constellation Brands’ Corona Seltzer will be withdrawn from the market in 2022.

Despite its shrinking share, Bud Light Seltzer is the No. 3 seltzer on the market, only after White Claw and Truly. AB InBev’s other hard seltzer brands, Bon V! V and Natural Light Seltzer, have a much smaller market share.

“We’re investing in a Super Bowl ad for a brand new product, so it’s a big commitment,” Goeler said. “We believe in it and we will continue to invest in it and build it into a significant part of our portfolio.”

Bud Light’s parent company also plans to run Super Bowl ads for its other brands. Bud Light Next, the company’s new zero-carb beer, makes its debut after its recent launch. And longtime Super Bowl item Budweiser returns after sitting out last year’s match. Cutwater Spirits and Michelob Ultra will also air Super Bowl commercials.

The shares of AB InBev have been relatively flat over the last 12 months, giving it a market value of $ 109 billion.

Disclosure: Comcast owns NBCUniversal, the parent company of CNBC.

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