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Super Bowl Budweiser ad highlights water donations for disaster zones

Anheuser-Busch is focusing on canned water instead of Clydesdales during this year's Super Bowl, with ads that highli...

Posted: Jan 26, 2018 6:35 PM
Updated: Jan 26, 2018 6:35 PM

Anheuser-Busch is focusing on canned water instead of Clydesdales during this year's Super Bowl, with ads that highlight Budweiser's humanitarian causes.

The company's centerpiece Super Bowl spot is a one-minute commercial that shows workers at a Budweiser plant making canned water instead of its "America" labeled beer cans. The ad lingers over footage of clear water instead of beer rushing through pipes and ends with a tractor-trailer trucking a load of canned water to a disaster zone, to the tune of "Stand By Me."

"Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, California, wherever you need us," says the ad, listing locations that have been hit by disasters including hurricanes, wildfires, mudslides and floods.

A spokeswoman for the company said the purpose of the ad is "to spotlight our employees, who together over the past 30 years have helped provide over 79 million cans of clean drinking water in response to natural disasters."

This isn't the first time the company has run Super Bowl ads that reflect current events. Last year, the company spotlighted its co-founder Adolphus Busch arriving in the U.S. from Germany in a sympathetic depiction of immigrants. The ad shows Busch, a 19th-century immigrant, arriving in America with plans to brew beer, as jeering locals demand that he "Go back home!"

Related: Budweiser falls off list of America's three favorite beers

Anheuser-Busch is running four minutes worth of different commercials during the televised football showdown between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots on Feb. 4. In addition to Budweiser, the ads will focus on its other brands Bud Light, Michelob Ultra and Stella Artois.

The company would not tell CNNMoney how much it's paying for the air time, but the broadcaster NBC is charging more than $5 million for 30-second spots this year.

For decades, Anheuser-Busch has been one of the most prolific advertisers during the Super Bowl, and has made a point of featuring its iconic Clydesdales nearly every year. But this year, the Clydesdales will not be making an appearance in a TV ad during the game. Instead, the horses will appear in advertisements on "social channels," according to a company spokeswoman.

The company has had some bad news lately, as Budweiser slipped from the top three list of America's favorite beers, and Anheuser-Busch dealt with slumping sales last year.

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