Budweiser forgoing Super Bowl ads in favor of vaccine awareness is a smart move

Following the news that Budweiser is forgoing this year’s Super Bowl commercial and will instead put that money behind vaccine awareness;

Arian Bassari, Consumer Analyst at GlobalData, a leading data and analytics company, offers his view:

“Budweiser’s decision to forgo advertising and to support vaccine awareness during the high-profile Super Bowl games may come as a surprise, especially after a run of 37 years; but it will undoubtedly create goodwill towards the company, which has suffered during the pandemic. GlobalData surveys show that two in four (37%) US consumers actively want to see news about initiatives adopted by brands during the pandemic1, illustrating that a large proportion of US consumers follow brand activity closely.

“The ongoing closure of foodservice, bars and hotels in the US has had a significant negative impact on beer consumption in the country, and Budweiser has certainly felt the effects of the virus. Not running an ad might seem counterintuitive, given the loss of revenue, but Budweiser clearly sees the bigger picture – as long as the virus continues, the market will continue to suffer. The new regime also has a clear agenda to get the country vaccinated as soon as possible, and big brands will benefit from attaching themselves to what is very much the main focus of the government.

“GlobalData’s COVID-19 recovery survey shows that nearly one third (30%) of US consumers are consuming more beer since the outbreak of the pandemic*2. However, this is predominantly at-home consumption, and the loss in consumption in the foodservice channels is more significant.

“The same survey notes that one in four (24%) of US consumers are buying alcoholic products at the lower end of the price range or have stopped buying them altogether as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic*3. As the pandemic ravages the economy and Americans seek more support from the newly elected government, price consciousness is increasingly becoming the main factor determining consumption and purchasing. Clearly, alcoholic drinks, including beer, are less important now for price-sensitive groups than they were before the pandemic.”

GlobalData COVID-19 Recovery Survey Week 11 (USA)

1. “What kind of information would you like from brands during COVID-19?”

2. “How has your shopping behaviour of the following products changed since the outbreak of COVID-19?” – Beer (Combined “I am buying significantly more”, “I am buying slightly more” and “I am stockpiling”

3. How do you think the outbreak of COVID-19 will impact your spending preferences on the following products in the foreseeable future? –  Alcoholic drinks (Combined “I intend to stop buying this because it’s beyond my budget” and “I intend to buy products at the lower end of the price range”)

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