Take a Seat for This Year’s Bud Light Commercial

And we mean that quite literally, friends. “Take a seat.” Why?

We can’t get too much information about what to expect during Super Bowl XLVII based on that brief spot, but we know that whenever a company makes an advertisement advertising their own advertisement (whoa, that got confusing fast) they mean business. Which is to say they mean their commercial is something special. (And that they want your business.)

Tthat’s nothing profound: it’s what commercials are all about. The line between the Entertainment Industry and the “marketing industry” grows blurrier ever year. Are movies more interested in trying to entertain us or in making money? Are TV shows trying to make us laugh and cry, or just hoping we watch the commercials and buy their sponsors’ products? Hard to say. There is a whole lot of crossover, though—just take a look at this little collage we put together for you!

Today we’re going to accept the premise that we can be entertained while being callously manipulated to want a product, and we’re going to give the people behind this year’s Bud Light Super Bowl commercial the benefit of the doubt and assume they will indeed entertain us.

Because we can’t look any farther forward than that teaser we just showed you, instead we are going to look back at some of the most beloved Bud Light commercials of all time. With a nod toward the current Bud Light slogan (even though we think this slogan has as much to do with encouraging people to purchase a beer as saying “There it is!” does with Post-Impressionism), Here We Go:

Bud Light Commercials – A Brief History

Bud Light is now just over 30 years old, having been launched in 1982, partially as return fire after the Miller Brewing Company’s release of Lite Beer by Miller, which first hit shelves about a decade earlier (and is now simply Miller Lite. And also Miller Brewing Co. is now MillerCoors. Times change). Bud Light would “win” the battle of the light beers in the mid-90s, becoming the annual bestseller of all light American beers (AKA “boozy fizz water). How did they do it? Well, commercials like this early offering may have helped. Sort of:

Mhmm… that is some Pure American-looking Beer! The early Bud Light ads were obviously designed to pin it to its big brother, America’s King of Beers (not sure who decided on that coronation, by the way…), Budweiser.

A contemporary Miller Lite commercial, on the other hand, was this Yakov Smirnoff commercial:

Hey, wait a second… that Miller commercial was MUCH better than the prancing horse ad from Bud,–what gives, consumers? We guess there was still about a decade before Bud Light surpassed Miller Lite in sales. Maybe this ad from the later 80s played a role?

A-ha! That’s right! Spuds McKenzie… that’s what we forgot. Bud Light went and got itself a charming party dog; a charming party dog that apparently drinks beer served to it by women with teased-up hair. The brand’s ascendance had begun!

Moving into the early 1990s, the folks over at Anheuser-Busch seemed to realize that indeed humor was the best way to market their beer, not majestic steeds. The idea is, we’re assuming, that “Funny commercials sell beer.” See exhibits A, from 1992, and B, three years later.

And

Soon what began to emerge were Bud Light commercial campaigns rather than humorous one-off ads. By associating a person’s face or slogan with a given brand, marketers can make that brand more prominent. Obvious, right?

Well it works: do you remember the “Yes I Am” guy? Because we do, like it was yesterday. But it wasn’t yesterday; it was well over a decade and a half ago!

Timeless. Excellent! In fact, much better than any of this Here We Go! drivel they have now. We have high hopes for this year’s Bud Light Super Bowl commercial because of their shining track record, but in case it’s a dud, we leave you with a commercial Bud Light aired during a Super Bowl past that’s sure to put a smile in your face. If their spot on 2/3/13 is no good, just re-watch this baby: