Like a Well-Bred Debutante, Bud Saves Punchlines for the Big Day


The press folk representing Anheuser-Busch sent us a passel of teasers for this year's Super Bowl. Slapstick takes a backseat to dramatic setup; all punchlines have been saved for Sunday.

Here's three:

"Clydesdales: Generations," an American immigration story starring last year's heavy-hoofed underdog. (They're milkin' this bad-boy for all its worth. The Clydesdale appears in at least two more spots: one circus-themed, another featuring his old Dalmation buddy.) By Waylon Advertising/St. Louis.

"Meeting" by DDB Worldwide/Chicago -- a generic in-the-boardroom! situation comedy. Like Schwarzenegger descending on Sacramento, one man assures idle laborers that "We're NOT LEAVING until we meet our budget! We need ideas." Expectedly, cutting back on marketing is the first suggestion, followed soon after by a dude who naively suggests they stop buying Bud Light for every meeting.

That probably won't go over very well.

"Swedish" features a reticent Conan O'Brien, who agrees to do a Bud Light ad that only airs in Sweden. I guess that's supposed to bring campy foreign hijinks to mind. By DDB Worldwide/Chicago.

The vibe in all three is decidedly less zeroed-in on blue collar/college scruffs than in previous years. (Have you noticed? -- no hot girls, no fresh-out-the-frat man-candy. Where is the candy?!!!)

Either Bud evolved into a strapping mid-level aspirer, or we're feeling the invisible hand of A-B's new parent. Or we could be totally wrong, and the spots will be stupid-funny as always.

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I'm glad at least one company can keep a lid on their ads before the big day. I'm tired of seeing 'leaked' versions of everyone's commercials popping up online weeks to months before the Super Bowl. What's worse is when companies even start to air their commercials before they debut on Sunday. Why spend the $3 mil if you're not going to bring something new to the table?

Posted by: Cory O'Brien on January 29, 2009 12:03 PM