To help level the playing field for women's sports, Michelob Ultra is launching more than just an ad campaign. The AB InBev beer brand will dedicate half of its lifestyle media dollars to content covering female athletes and events, for a total of $100 million over the next five years.
"This is the right thing to do, and it's also good for business," client VP of marketing Ricardo Marques tells Muse. The move positions Ultra as a force for equality, while countering the "negative domino effect" of women competitors receiving lower pay and fewer endorsements because they aren't as visible as their male counterparts, Marques says.
The quest for increased visibility starts with an anthem spot from creative agency GUT. It features top stars and a bold vibe, urging viewers to share more women's sports content across social—in particular, by using the "Save" button on Instagram and similar platforms.
The "Save It, See It" idea is essentially a way to hack the algorithm on Instagram and other social networks.
"Open Instagram. See that icon on the bottom right corner in every single post? That's the save button," GUT founder Anselmo Ramos explains on LinkedIn. "Not only does that look suspiciously similar to Michelob Ultra's logo, but every time you tap that save button, it also increases the chances of the post being seen in the feed."
He adds: "This is because the algorithm secretly prioritizes saves over likes, shares, and comments. On Women's Equality Day [Aug. 26], Michelob Ultra is starting a movement to go hit SAVE on women athletes’ posts to give them more visibility. Because when they get more visibility, they get more opportunities. And when they get more opportunities, we’re all one step closer to equality in sports."
The spot puts it this way: "You don't have to like what we just said. Actually, don't 'like' it. 'Save' it."
L.A. Sparks forward and WNBA Players Association president Nneka Ogwumike, hoop analyst and former NCAA standout Andraya Carter, and LGBT+ advocate CeCe Telfer, the first openly transgender woman to capture an NCAA crown, appear in the :60.
"This journey started 18 months ago, as we sought to support women's sports through signing as the official beer sponsor of the WNBA, while at the same time increasing female representation on our roster by signing Serena Williams and Alex Morgan," Marques says. "We know that there's so much more that can and should be done on this front."
The initiative also includes pledges from Ultra to represent male and female athletes equally in ads moving forward, and to balance its talent and influencer ranks with equal representation of both sexes.
"This is very unique both in terms of scale and how it's designed to address the root cause of the issue, which is visibility," says Marques. "It's about walking the talk."
Ultra serves as the official beer sponsor of the WNBA, while AB InBev sibling Budweiser holds that same designation for the National Women's Soccer League.
Save It, See It
Agency Credits: GUT Agency
Anselmo Ramos – Creative Chairman / Founder
Paulo Fogaça – Chief Operating Officer/Partner
Carmen Rodriguez – Chief Client Officer/ Partner
Juan Javier Peña Plaza – Executive Creative Director/Partner
Ricardo Casal – Executive Creative Director/Partner
Guido Fusetti – Head of Art
Brynna Aylward- Executive Creative Director
Bruno Acanfora – Executive Creative Director
Ariel Abramovici – Executive Creative Director
Lauren Cooper – Associate Creative Director
Cara Johnson – Associate Creative Director
Alexander Allen – Associate Creative Director
Andy Tamayo – Associate Creative Director
Willow Ennen – Art Director
Andrew Gonzalez – Copywriter
Tarahgee Morris – Junior Art Director
Jasmine WIlliams – Junior Copywriter
Cristina Cornejo Ayala – Creative Manager
Junia Parodi – Creative Manager
Vanessa Rodriguez – Project Manager
Renata Neumann – Head of Production
Denisse Ramirez – Senior Producer
Sol Froment - Producer
Akoma M'ba – Account Director
Manuela Castro – Management Supervisor
Laila Houser – Account Executive
Fernando Ribeiro – Global Chief Strategy Officer
Bruno Steffen – Strategy Director
William Ramos – Social Strategy Director
Samantha Lemoine – Content Director
Client Credits: Anheuser Busch
Ricardo Marques – Vice President of Marketing, Michelob ULTRA & Global
Talita Andrade – Senior Marketing Director, Michelob ULTRA
Miles Ritenour – Director of Digital Marketing, Michelob ULTRA
Kerry Scalora – Director of Sports Marketing
Christopher Jones – Senior Marketing Director, Michelob ULTRA
Jessica Thorpe – PR Lead
Production Credits: LOVEBOAT
Elena Parasco – Director
Jeff Baron – Managing Partner
Rachel Curl – Executive Producer
Clark Farrell – Head of Production
Natalie Jacobson – Line Producer
Edit Credits: Cosmo Street - Edit and VFX
Chiao Chen – Editor
Maria Cunningham – Assistant Editor
Nico Cragnolino – VFX Producer
Laura Mirabella – Producer
Music Credits: CANJA Audio Culture
Eduardo Karas - Music Director
Lucas Sfair - Music Director
Filipe Resende - Music Executive Director
Leonardo Lima - Music Composer
Ana Flor - Music Coordinator
Matheus Brandão - Music Coordinator
Audio Credits: Animal Music
Raul Garcia - Audio Engineer
Color Credits: Apache
Colorist : Taylor Black
Producer: Stefanie Schaldenbrand