Ad Age: Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl ads ‘hack jobs’

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Advertising Age wasn’t too impressed with Anheuser-Busch InBev’s Super Bowl commercials this year.

In fact, Ad Age’s Ken Wheaton writes, “If there’s an opposite of most improved, Anheuser-Busch would take home the prize. It’s almost as if there’s no clear marketing leader over there. It was enough to make me long for the days of Bud Bowl.”
There have been some creative shakeups at the brewer. Last month, Keith Levy, A-B’s vice president of marketing, left the company.
Bob Lachky, A-B’s former chief creative officer who created some of the most iconic advertising campaigns of the past two decades, including “Wassup?!,” the Budweiser frogs and the “Real Men of Genius,” left in 2009 after InBev bought A-B for $52 billion in 2008. Read Lachky’s review of this year’s Super Bowl ads here.
Ad Age’s Wheaton said A-B was “dialing it in” this year. “Only one of Anheuser-Busch’s spots is called ‘Hack Job,’ but the name could have been used for at least four of them,” he wrote. “The company that reliably turns in some of the best Super Bowl creative seemed to be, at best, dialing it in.”
A Bud Light spot called “Hack Job” by St. Louis ad shop Cannonball, for example, plays off home-improvement shows and adds a bucket of Bud Light for a kitchen-remodeling project.
Chicago-based DDB’s “Product Placement” was stolen from “Wayne’s World,” Wheaton writes. DDB’s “Dog Sitter,” features digitally enhanced dogs, which “might prevent animal cruelty, but it does nothing to prevent consumer cruelty,” he writes.
Wheaton also lampooned A-B’s Stella Artois spot. “This is how you make your Super Bowl debut, with Adrien Brody singing to weeping women in a French jazz club?” he asked. “This one left me wondering who decided to let Adrien Brody sing in a beer commercial.”
Wheaton said his one hope for the Bud Light spots is that A-B airs the 60-second DDB spot that the brewer unlocked on Facebook last week. “Called ‘Severance,’ it’s the silly sort of fun viewers expect from the brand.”
Wheaton’s favorite A-B commercial was the “Wild West” Budweiser spot by Anomaly in New York. “Seems more fitting for a Coke spot but ties nicely to the ‘Great Times Are Waiting’ tagline.”
Read more: Ad Age: Anheuser-Busch Super Bowl ads ‘hack jobs’ | St. Louis Business Journal