Budweiser’s Sit-Out Super Bowl LV campaign more effective than any big game ad in last 5 years
Image via AP.

It's the first time in four decades the beer giant hasn't run Super Bowl ads.

Budweiser’s Sit-Out Super Bowl campaign has been the most effective Super Bowl ad in the last 5 years, according to new data from Unruly. 

The Sit-Out campaign was made to announce that the beer company would not run an ad at the Super Bowl for the first time in almost four decades in order to allocate the airtime funds to promote awareness and education around COVID-19 vaccines. 

And, its efforts were successful.

An analysis from Unruly that surveyed 300 viewers found that seven out of 10 Americans had a more favorable view of the Anheuser-Busch InBev brand after watching “Bigger Picture” — 79% higher than the average U.S. ad. 

“By leveraging the Super Bowl to highlight how it’s helping with such an important and highly-visible societal issue, Budweiser’s ‘Bigger Picture’ generated the brand’s highest-ever favorability, emotional responses and purchase intent scores,” Rebecca Waring, Unruly’s Global Vice President of Insight, said in a news release. 

The “Bigger Picture” ad features footage of Americans finding joyful moments despite the pandemic, narrated by actress Rashida Jones.

The ad reached an EQ score of eight out of 10 — higher than any Super Bowl ad has managed since Unruly’s rankings were first launched. The EQ score measures a campaign’s ability to not only engage consumers, but also drive brand metrics such as favorability and purchase intent.  

The ad surpassed Microsoft’s 2019 campaign “We All Win”, which previously held the highest EQ score at 7.5. 

The ad generated an intense emotional response from 58% of viewers — about twice the U.S. average (32%). As far as intent to purchase, the ad was successful in convincing 63% of viewers  to buy the product — way above the 40% average purchase intent. 

Viewers felt the brand came across as relatable (76%), genuine (82%) and trustworthy (77%). 

However, the report also highlighted that brand recall was lower than the U.S. average of 65%, with less than half of viewers (48%) recognizing Budweiser as the brand behind the campaign.  

“The only area where the ad falls down is brand recall. Generic footage, no matter how emotive, is tricky to tie back to the brand – and consumers have seen a lot of similar ads in 2020,” she said. 

The choice by Budweiser to sit-out the Super Bowl air waves is just another way the big game may look different this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Celebrations are also expected to change this year — in-person Super Bowl parties for the upcoming game are expected to be at a historic low, according to the Florida Retail Federation. But, viewership is expected to break records.

The Super Bowl is at 6:30 p.m. Sunday.

Kelly Hayes

Kelly Hayes studied journalism and political science at the University of Florida. Kelly was born and raised in Tampa Bay. A recent graduate, she enjoys government and legal reporting. She has experience covering the Florida Legislature as well as local government, and is a proud Alligator alum. You can reach Kelly at [email protected].


Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch @PeterSchorschFL

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Drew Dixon, Roseanne Dunkelberger, A.G. Gancarski, Anne Geggis, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Cole Pepper, Gray Rohrer, Jesse Scheckner, Christine Sexton, Drew Wilson, and Mike Wright.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704

Sign up for Sunburn