"This Bud's for the blues, the reds and the warriors," a voiceover begins in ad agency David's "One Team" commercial for AB InBev's Budweiser. On screen, images of healthcare professionals in azure scrubs, Red Cross workers and a response team wearing hazmat suits roll by.
"This Bud's for the magic, the athletics, the giants and the jazz—the trailblazers and the braves," the narration continues, maintaining the sports-team theme over shots of stay-at-home folks, delivery people and medical personnel.
The 75-second commercial dropped online yesterday, as Bud parent AB InBev pledged $5 million to the American Red Cross. Pre-pandemic, those funds would have been spent on sports and entertainment marketing.
"This season, we're all one team," the spot concludes, announcing AB's shift in sports investments "to help our heroes on the front lines."
As part of the push, the company will donate media time for Red Cross PSAs, make tour centers in Merrimack, N.H., and St. Louis available to the organization, and work with its sports partners to identify stadiums that can be used for blood drives.
The "One Team" approach rings true, as the world's largest brewer said it has already lost nearly $300 million in revenue—and $170 million in pre-tax earnings—owing to COVID-19 disruptions worldwide.
"While we can't solve this crisis on our own, we are proud to do what we can to serve and support our communities in need and the heroes on the front lines, using our capabilities, our relationships, and our reach to do our part," AB USA chief executive Michel Doukeris, said in a statement. "We invite other companies to use their unique capabilities to join us in this effort, however they can, so that together we can make a difference."
Indeed, many marketers are suiting up to help out. These include Nike, with its "Play Inside, Play for the World" campaign and free Training Club app access to help the WFH crowd keep fit. The Ad Council has also been notably proactive, working with Snapchat to accelerate the launch of a mental-health and coronavirus-related content. It also teamed up with VicaomCBS Entertainment & Youth Brands for #AloneTogether PSAs promoting social distancing, among sundry initiatives.