Peyton Manning’s Marketing Gift to Budweiser

The Super Bowl is one of the biggest advertising days of the year. A mere 30 seconds of airtime could cost you a whopping 5 MILLION dollars. Companies are happy to dish out the cash if it means establishing brand loyalty and ultimately driving sales. Marketers take advantage of these ads inparticular because it is one of their greatest opportunities to present to massive viewership, all in one place!

Of all the commercials that featured ads on the air during the game, there was one clear winner: Budweiser. The Beer Empire spent a pretty hefty sum of money with two commercials throughout the game, because what’s $10 million dollars anyway? The first, entitled “Simply Put”, featured a very brutally honest Helen Mirren reminding all who drive drunk that they are nothing but a waste of human form of pollution, featuring the hashtag #GiveADamn.  For all who tweeted and used the hashtag, Budweiser spent $1 on Safe Ride Programs. The second spot, called “Not Backing Down” starred beautiful elite horses, and stayed true to the Budweiser brand (even though all of us missed the puppy commercial of last year’s Super Bowl, let’s be honest). However, their most highlighted moment came from none other than Denver Broncos’ hero, Peyton Manning. After the game had ended, a sideline reporter questioned Manning on his postgame agenda and his response was (no, not a trip to Disney World) to “drink a lot of Budweiser tonight.” And if that wasn’t enough, he repeated it a second time up on the winner’s podium.


Marketing Gold

When Peyton said this, there was a wave of eyes rolling at my family Super Bowl party. None of us could believe that of all the possible things to say after winning a championship, all Peyton Manning could think about was getting an ice-cold beer to the face. A statement such as this had to be an endorsement worth millions! WRONG. Turns out, Budweiser claims that they did not pay Peyton a cent for the mention! Talk about marketing gold.

Fans and even celebrities tweeted out their astonishment and claimed that Peyton had to have been paid for the advertisement.


Image via Twitter (@SalVulcano)


Image via Twitter (@b_petty14)

However, Lisa Weser of Budweiser, went on to squash the speculation.


Image via Twitter (@LisaWeser)

Budweiser stated they had no idea the shout out was coming and they gleefully contributed 50 cases of beer to the Broncos’ after party, reported by ESPN. This wasn’t the only time that Manning has mentioned the brand. In 2014, he told reporters after winning the 2014 AFC Championship playoffs, that all he could think about was “how soon he could get a Bud Light in his mouth.” Man, this guy loves beer. There are no official statements that prove Peyton has any financial stake in Anheuser-Busch, but we can make an educated guess and say that he probably does!


The Power of Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing such as this, especially from a sports hero, does wonders for a brand. The value of a Super Bowl champion preaching a brand’s name holds more value than the millions spent on a few second spot on live TV.

So you might be asking why other players in the NFL haven’t said the same thing… well, because there’s a catch. Active football players in the NFL are prohibited to endorse alcohol. So for Peyton, he might not have much to lose now that he is retired. Who knows, we may just see him in some Budweiser commercials following his NFL career, aside from the ever so popular, Papa John’s ads.

But in the meantime, let’s just marvel at the insane amount of exposure Budweiser received and the initial spike in profits since the mention.

Stay winning, Budweiser.


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