As the Coronavirus pandemic keeps fans away from NFL stadiums, Bud Light pays homage to the cardboard cutouts that have taken their seats.
Using the cardboard cutout of a New York Giants fan, Bud Light paints a sad portrayal of cardboard football fans in its new commercial. Throughout the two minute advertisement, viewers see the cardboard cutout watch the Giants lose their game, get trampled on by pedestrians, and get stuck in a bus windshield wiper. The comical ad ends as the cardboard cutout meets his real life counterpart and the two of them share cans of Bud Light together—one can cardboard, and one real. The ad takes a lighthearted approach to unfortunate fan circumstances this football season and could encourage spectators to make the most of their at-home viewing experiences. The commercial, which will run every Sunday of the NFL season, also allows Bud Light to connect with homebound fans, instead of at stadium games where its beverages are typically sold. In addition to stadiums, many bars remain shuttered, giving Bud Light an additional opportunity to appeal to homebound consumers, according to a Gartner report.
Bud Light’s new ad shows it’s not easy being a football fan these days, but that customers can still enjoy some of their favorite traditions like drinking beer and watching games. By running its commercial on broadcast TV each week, Bud Light can ensure it engages its target audience, and stays top of mind during every game. Bud Light’s NFL promotion follows a series of marketing rollouts from other sponsors, including Doritos, Pepsi, and Buffalo Wild Wings, who also adapted their promotions to meet consumers at home during the Coronavirus pandemic. Bud Light’s comical ad signals a larger trend within sports marketing, which is that brands must merge tradition with unpredictability to continue appealing to at-home sports fans. By using a cardboard cutout that faces numerous struggles in its commercial, Bud Light could show customers that things could always be worse and that the best thing to do may be staying home, watching games, and drinking Bud Light.
Bud Light reminds fans that watching NFL games from home may be rough, but it’s not as bad as being a cardboard fan of the New York Giants. The beer brand’s ad could resonate with football fans across the country and help them bond over cans of Bud Light.