GLENDALE, Ariz. — Brewers across the country will be pulling out all the stops to “give back” to veterans this weekend, according to NFL sources.
Budweiser has announced 6 different, 30-second ads for broadcast during the Super Bowl, each featuring a different veteran receiving public adulation while looking suitably humble.
“This year, we’ve even found a veteran of a combat arms unit,” a source at InBev (Budweiser’s parent company) told Duffel Blog. "We can't have a repeat of last year's debacle."
Samuel Adams, made by craft brewer Boston Brewing Company, has created what it hopes will be the iconic moment of the day, with a commercial showing a veteran sitting alone in a room, staring at a gun on a table. As the camera switches back and forth between the gun and the tears welling in the veteran’s eyes, there’s a knock at the door. A neighbor hands the vet a Sam Adams Boston Lager, and the two wind up laughing on the front steps. The neighbor can be seen mouthing the words, “Thank you for your service” as the commercial fades out.
Coors has upped the ante, with a hospitality tent for flag officers attending the game, in addition to 11 different commercials featuring actors in costumes approximating US military uniforms.
Additionally, Coors has flown Army Chief of Staff Ray Odierno to the game, where he will act as honorary captain of the Seahawks for the coin toss.
Odierno was to have acted as the Patriots’ honorary captain, but Air Force Chief of Staff Mark Welsh was instead chosen to represent the Patriots because of their recent cheating scandal. Welsh’s trip to the game was sponsored by the Flying Dog Brewery.
Miller Beer elected to release one ad online only, after focus groups were mixed on it. The spot fades in to a draught horse in a downpour, bearing an empty saddle with cavalry boots backwards in the stirrups. On a caisson behind the horse is a keg. A 21-gun salute is fired as the keg is lowered into the ground, and soldiers in dress uniforms throw up on each other. "After you kill our nation's enemies, the best way to unwind is by killing a keg. Welcome to Miller time," the screen reads.
Duffel Blog asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell for comment on this year’s crop of ads, and Goodell was effusive in his praise.
“Our partners in the malted beverage industry have really outdone themselves this year, with innovative and moving salutes to those who salute for a living,” Goodell said. "Message: we care about more than selling beer and our special brand of extreme violence."
Adweek reports this year's 30 second spots are selling for a record $4.5 million — $150,000/second, or almost as much as Goodell earns in a day as head of the nation’s most valuable charitable organization. When asked how much of the NFL's non-profit revenue goes to veterans organizations, Goodell looked puzzled and said, “I don’t understand the question.”