Super Bowl 55 Won't Have Budweiser, Coke, Or Pepsi Ads

The big game will look a little different this year, as several key advertisers change their plans due to COVID-19.

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This year's Super Bowl broadcast will look a little different, as a handful of major sponsors--including Anheuser-Busch, Pepsi, and Coca-Cola--have announced plans to forgo their traditional advertisements.

In its own statement, Anheuser-Busch said, "After a year that looked like no other, Budweiser has decided to do things differently."

For the first time since 1983, Anheuser-Busch will not buy an ad for its famous Budweiser brand during the Super Bowl. Instead, the company is donating the money it would have used on an ad to COVID-19 relief and vaccination awareness campaigns.

"The campaign also pledges critical support to COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education, as we draw closer to a time when we can bring people back together again safely--at bars, in restaurants, or to celebrate life's moments with our loved ones," the company said.

Anheuser-Busch financed a new digital ad called "Bigger Picture," which is meant to highlight and celebrate the moments of hope in 2020. Parks and Rec star Rashida Jones narrates the piece. Anheuser-Busch selected Jones because she has been an outspoken advocate for important health and social issues, through her "Ask Big Questions" podcast with Bill Gates and other efforts to promote health and welfare for people across the world.

"Budweiser shares my commitment to advocating for COVID-19 prevention and vaccine awareness and education. I'm happy to be a part of Budweiser's celebration of our resilience and hope during these challenging times," Jones said.

Anheuser-Busch is a gigantic company that owns and operates numerous other beer brands. Some of these, including Michelob Ultra and Bud Light's fast-growing seltzer drinks, will have advertisements during Super Bowl LV.

You can watch the Michelob Ultra video below, featuring a long list of famous athletes such as Serena Williams, Anthony Davis, Peyton Manning, Brooks Koepka, Jimmy Butler, and Alex Morgan. In total, Anheuser-Busch bought four minutes of ad time for Super Bowl LV.

ViacomCBS, whose subsidiary CBS is broadcasting the game, is charging $5.5 million for every 30 seconds of ad time this year.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, PepsiCo will not buy ads this year either for its Pepsi brand, though it did pay for TV sports for its Mountain Dew and Frito-Lay brands, while it's sponsoring the half-time show with The Weeknd as well. Coca-Cola, Audi, and Avocados from Mexico won't have any presence during Super Bowl LV at all.

M&Ms, Pringles, and Toyota are expected to have ads during Super Bowl LV, while TikTok rival Triller paid for a spot as well. The online car sales store Vroom also bought a spot.

Super Bowl LV takes place on Sunday, February 7 in Tampa Bay, Florida. There will be a limited number of fans at the game--around 22,000--including more than 7,500 vaccinated health care workers who were given free tickets.

It's a matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the title. The Sunday before the Super Bowl is normally when the Pro Bowl takes place, but due to COVID-19, the event is happening virtually this year inside Madden NFL 21.

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