A recent article by Advertising Age discusses what some might consider a bold move by long-time Super Bowl heavy-hitter Anheuser-Busch. The company will not air any commercials feauring its stoic and legendary Clydesdales (along with moving on from their drinkability campaign as well). What doesn’t surprise me, covered in the AdAge article, is that the results are due to consumer feedback. The brand has always appeared to do a nice job of keeping a pulse on the consumer. And, it is not that the brand outright abandoned the Clydesdales. According to the article, the brand had a Clydesdales shoot in November, but the resulting ads didn’t make the cut.
So, what does this mean for this year’s Super Bowl? I have mixed feelings on this development. On the one hand I am going to miss seeing the iconic Clydesdales that year after year have left an indelible impression in my memory. On the other hand, I’m excited to see what the brand has in store that might potentially outperform this iconic image. Equally appealing to me, I’m interested to see if there is any consumer reaction as the brand tries to transition its equity from the old iconography to whatever they plan to showcase for us in the Super Bowl.
– Derek Rucker