Why are Budweiser, Coke, and Pepsi pulling out of Superbowl Ads?


Sometimes I still say it.
That commercial, after 22 years, still sticks with me.

TV, done well, works!

Granted, I’ve never bought a Bud…

This year, Budweiser, Coca-Cola, and Pepsi – all staples of Super Bowl TV ads – are cutting the cord on Super Bowl commercials.

Instead, Budweiser will run a 90-second ad titled “Bigger Picture” on digital platforms before and during the Super Bowl, to promote COVID-19 vaccine awareness.

And as of today, it has nearly 11 million views on YouTube alone.

Maybe they are realizing…
Marketing to the masses, instead of your target consumer, is not optimized marketing.

A 30-second Super Bowl ad that will reach about 100 million people runs about $5.5 million (assuming they’re not in the bathroom, grabbing some nachos, or DVRing the commercials).

That means you’re paying $55 per 1,000 impressions ($55 CPM).
Let’s compare that to some other common mediums.

Here’s what it will cost to get in front of 100 million people other ways:

  1. National Radio ($3 CPM) – $300k
  2. Facebook ($6 CPM) – $600k
  3. YouTube ($8 CPM) – $800k
  4. Cable TV ($32 CPM) – $3.2 million
  5. OTT (i.e. Hulu) ($45 CPM) – $4.5 million
  6. Super Bowl Ad ($55 CPM) – $5.5 million


Keep in mind, Facebook and YouTube have nearly double the reach of the Superbowl at nearly 200 million active users.

Quick question, what’s the most popular network on TV?

Go ahead, fancy a guess.


100 million Americans watch YouTube on their TV sets every month.

That’s more than all the other linear TV networks COMBINED.

Another 97 million YouTube viewers watch from their mobile, tablet, or desktop every month.

Put another way.

You can target nearly 2 Super Bowls worth of viewers on YouTube for 85% less cost than a single Super Bowl commercial, any day of the year.

But, of course, that misses the point.

As Seth Godin pointed out in his 2009 book, Purple Cow, referring to the dying TV Industrial complex he quipped, “We’ve now reached the point where we can no longer market to the masses.”

In contrast, social media platforms can optimize your ads to show to people who are likely interested in your products and services (because they know a creepy amount of information about their users).

And it works.
We have many clients generating dozens of leads each month (and a few who generated over 100 Facebook leads just last month).

Let’s face it.
Not all TV ads are good.
Not all Facebook ads are good.
Not all YouTube ads are good.

But with Facebook and YouTube, we can test dozens of ads to figure out exactly which ads are GREAT in your local market.

TV marketing in 2021 ain’t what it used to be.

YouTube IS the new TV! 

TV is dead.
Long live TV!

Even the 800lb gorillas of marketing – Budweiser, Pepsi, Coca-Cola, Hyundai – who take longer to change direction than an ocean liner, are finally realizing it.

Are you ready to make the New TV work in your market before your competitors do?

P.S. TV vs YouTube in 2021 is like Yellow Pages vs Google Search in 2009.



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