There’s no question that Budweiser is the content king of the Superbowl. According to MSNBC’s The Bottom Line, Anheuser-Busch has spent $246.2 million in Superbowl ad since 2002. They are always looked at for some of the most innovative, awe-inspiring ads displayed on the biggest of stages. They’re the king.
Well, this year, as many previous (and I’ll happily admit that I secretly long for the return of Bud Bowl…) Anheuser-Busch has absolutely won the competition for the best Superbowl ad. Only problem? It wasn’t aired in the US.
On December 21, 2011, Budweiser turned fantasy into reality for two rec league hockey teams in Ontario, Canada. They made a regular game, and I do not use the word lightly… epic. They showed up with screaming fans, play-by-play announcers, mascots, trainers, video replay, confetti cannons and more. They created the ad to specifically air in Canada during the Superbowl, but we feel like this story will far outlive the Canadian viewership of the big game.
This is what they used to create on of the best Superbowl ads I’ve ever seen…
“Budweiser strongly supports hockey and Flash Fans was our way of honouring all of the passion and hard work of rec players. The ad captures the incredible excitement of a league game that has been elevated to new heights with all the elements of a professional game,” said Ben Seaton, Marketing Manager, Budweiser. “The energy in the arena that night is palpable on screen. Once the fans rushed the stands, you can see the energy level of the players increase ten-fold. The emotion on their faces is priceless and the ad truly puts the viewer right there on the rink with the players.”
The entire campaign was executed over the course of 6 days, with several teasers released leading up to the commercial, as you can see below.
The Budweiser Canada YouTube channel has already received over 2 million views and it was started just for this series of ads. According to Bostinno.com, this was the “Super Bowl commercial of the decade.”
Signing off with the tag “Great times are waiting, Why not grab some buds?” the commercial dares to go where many Super Bowl commercials don’t: appealing emotionally to a consumer base. On an evening that will be filled with Matthew Brodericks and Jerry Seinfelds, seeing a bunch of unknown athletes unexpectedly playing in the game of their life is a pretty damn cool thing, and one that will likely stick with fans a lot longer than the alternative.
And finally… here it is, in all it’s glory… The full commercial.
If you are as fascinated by this as we were, here’s the “even more full” version, in which the director and the production team walk through the creation of the entire event. Huge props to Budweiser. While this didn’t air anywhere other than Canada, this is going to be one of the more shared and most viral commercials to come out of this year’s Superbowl. Well played.
Now, for those of you who have never seen anything like this… this isn’t exactly the newest idea. An AMAZING improv troupe from New York City called Improv Everywhere was the first time we heard this idea. They decided to give a local NYC band their “Best Gig Ever” by creating signs, t-shirts, learning song lyrics, and flooding a small venue so that this band could have the truly memorable experience of being rock stars. Over the past week we’ve heard some talk on the interwebs about “Budweiser ripped off this idea”… Frankly we think it’s neither here nor there. A brilliant idea doesn’t mean anything unless you can execute it. A brilliant idea is not something should be held as sacred, never to be repeated. The beauty of a idea is that it’s just that… a thought. It’s not an action, it’s not a one time occurrence, and it’s certainly not the entire execution of an event. Once an idea is formed, it will live forever in the minds of those ho have heard about. And that’s not a bad thing.
Besides… for anyone who’s ever played beer league hockey or pick up basketball or little league soccer… how would YOU feel if this happened to you? We’d like to think the answer to that is “perfect.”
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