First, and perhaps most surprisingly, at least one source is reporting that DDB/Chicago, long linked at the hip with A-B's best-selling Bud Light brand, is not responsible for any of the five Bud Light spots tentatively slated to air during the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. On Monday, an A-B spokesman would not discuss which agency did which commercials, but Cannonball in St. Louis is believed to have done most if not all of the Bud Light work, which carries a new tag line "Here we go." The idea seems to be to connect Bud Light with fun times, not exactly a new theme for the brand. The "drinkability" theme, pushed hard in several recent Bud Light campaigns, is not being promoted in this 2010 Super Bowl line-up.
Also missing in action in the two Budweiser brand commercials, believed to be the handiwork of DDB, are the iconic Clydesdales and the dalmatian dog that have been featured in recent years -- often in heartwarming vignettes intended to provide an alternative to the frat house humor in the Bud Light work. There are dogs in the two Budweiser commercials, but not a dalmatian.
Certainly, the Bud Light work expected to appear on the Super Bowl still feels like it is aimed at the frat house, but the commercials have a different rhythm and a softer kind of humor overall than was apparent in the early and best Bud Light work from DDB/Chicago when the format was still fresh and before the material descended to the level of farting horses and crotch-biting dogs.
Will any of the work in this A-B line-up prove good enough to top the Ad Meter competition? The answer to that depends on how stiff the competition is this year. Some of the advertisers that previously have been contenders in the Ad Meter competition are sitting on the sidelines this year. And in recent years, a lot of the Super Bowl of Advertising work has been little better than that seen during an evening of typical prime time programming. Which is another way of saying "not very good."