Cannes Lions

Bigger Picture

DAVID, Miami / ABINBEV / 2021

Awards:

5 Shortlisted Cannes Lions
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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

In December 2020, news broke that a COVID-19 vaccine had been authorized for emergency use in the US. However, ~70% of America said they wouldn’t get the vaccine as soon as it was available to them. Budweiser scrapped its existing Super Bowl plans and ended a 37 year in-game Super Bowl ad streak to instead take action to help support vaccine awareness and education. With a history and heritage of doing good, the brand knew it was more important to take action to help get America safely back together this year, rather than air its traditional in-game ad.

The objective of our communication efforts was to show Budweiser’s support for the COVID-19 vaccine and announce that Budweiser would forego its iconic in-game Super Bowl airtime and instead redirect those Super Bowl advertising funds to support vaccine awareness and education through a partnership with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative.

Idea

For the first time in 37 years, Budweiser decided to forego its iconic in-game Super Bowl airtime and help support vaccine awareness and education through a partnership with the Ad Council and COVID Collaborative’s COVID-19 Vaccine Education Initiative: one of the largest public health communications campaigns in history.

The campaign launched with the “Bigger Picture” film, which ran digitally the weeks leading up to the game. The film, narrated by actress, writer, and advocate Rashida Jones, celebrates individual acts of resilience during a trying year and spotlights first responders who were among the first people to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. The film ends with an announcement that Budweiser will sit out the Super Bowl and reallocate those media dollars to support COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education in 2021.

After Budweiser’s announcement, other brands followed suit and sat out the Super Bowl to instead donate to COVID-19 charitable efforts.

Strategy

To grab people’s attention during one of the most saturated advertising periods of the year, we decided to miss the Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years. Instead, we strategically launched the “Bigger Picture” film exclusively on social media two weeks before the Super Bowl to be first to the Super Bowl press and social media conversation and garner two weeks’ worth of conversation. By utilizing this approach, we drove maximum awareness of our vaccine education message so much so that consumer engagement was at an all-time high.

The objective of our messaging efforts was to not only raise awareness of Budweiser’s decision to forego its iconic in-game Super Bowl airtime and redirect those advertising funds to support vaccine awareness, but to help change public perception about the COVID-19 vaccines on a national level.

Execution

In addition to reallocating our Super Bowl media dollars to supporting vaccine awareness and education, we needed to instill a sense of hope in America. So, we created the “Bigger Picture” film. The film, narrated by actress, writer, and advocate Rashida Jones, celebrates individual acts of resilience that sparked hope during a trying year and spotlights first responders who were among the first people to receive the vaccine. The film ends with the announcement Budweiser will sit out its usual advertising airtime during the Super Bowl to support COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education in 2021.

The “Bigger Picture” film was launched exclusively on social media two weeks before the Super Bowl and before most in-game spot releases to drive maximum awareness of our vaccine education message. The film ran on social media between 1/25/21 and 2/7/21 and aimed to help change public perception about COVID-19 vaccines on a national level.

Outcome

This was Anheuser-Busch’s most successful Super Bowl campaign in the company’s history. The campaign generated 32.1 billion PR impressions and more than 6,000 broadcast segments, including on Good Morning America and The Today Show. The campaign generated more than 12,00 stories in top news outlets, including The New York Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, Business Insider, USA Today, CNN and CNBC. On social media, the campaign generated more than 668K social mentions – the most of any campaign in Budweiser’s history – with 99% positive sentiment, and the “Bigger Picture” film received 75 million views.

The campaign succeeded in changing public perception of the COVID-19 vaccines. We saw a +3.2% lift in likelihood to get vaccinated among consumers after they saw the “Bigger Picture” ad (source: Qualtrics, February 2021).And last but not least, we broke a record in sales with a 227% increase vs. LY in Drizzly home deliveries.

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