Big Money spent on Super Bowl ads doesn’t nescisarily translate into big sales. Sometimes it’s an attempt to slow falling sales numbers.
With Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) reportedly set to spend up to a record $34 million on eight commercials spanning a whopping 6.5 minutes of air time during the Super Bowl this year, a casual observer may conclude that everything’s up in the land of Budweiser Clydesdales and Bud Light frogs. But the pricey ad buy indicates just the opposite: The exclusive Super Bowl alcohol sponsor is throwing a hail Mary pass to gain back the share points it continues to lose from the beverage market. Yet numbers released by Nielsen suggest that may not add up to a win, as past sales trends indicate more and more football fans will once again trade beer for spirits, wine and even hard seltzer during Sunday’s game.
The data company reports that off-premise beer sales for the two weeks leading up to last year’s game sagged 0.3% compared with the previous year. Confirming the fears of the beer industry, wine and spirits gained from that loss, with wine sales picking up 0.5% over that time and spirits sales gaining 1.5% across the same period.