Michelob Ultra Captures the Pure Joy of Sports in Artful Ads
We've watched superstar athletes hoist trophies umpteen times. But this familiar gesture takes on fresh, deeper meaning in artful ads designed to evolve Michelob Ultra's "It's Only Worth It if You Enjoy It" positioning.
Careful cropping places the smiling reflections of Serena Williams, Brooks Koepka, Alex Morgan, Nneka Ogwumike and Anthony Davis on the shiny surfaces of championship hardware—but the endorsers don't otherwise appear. This novel approach from creative agency GUT lends the work, headlined "Joy Is the Ultimate Trophy," a distinctive, stylized vibe.
Click the images to enlarge and scroll through:
"The happiness on these athletes' faces is something that is impossible to ignore," says Ricardo Marques, VP of marketing at Michelob Ultra, an AB InBev brand. "But when you see it in the reflection of the trophy that they pushed so hard to be able to hold and hear the story of the joy they felt along the way, it becomes much more meaningful."
The subjects share backstories for each photo across their social feeds. For example, Serena's shot came from 2020, at the GOAT's first big win after her daughter's birth:
"The world has led us to believe that trophies are the ultimate sign of athletic success," GUT associate creative director Jeff Schermer tells Muse. "But what we realized by looking at these photographs is that the real trophy is the joy one gets from doing what they love, and all the moments and emotions that get one there."
"The target for this campaign is every person who plays sports, no matter what level they are in, from pros to amateurs," adds Jose Ramirez, also an agency ACD. "As we all know, the pressure to perform and win is a constant burden. The boost for Michelob Ultra comes from the continuous support of athletes, including promoting the right conversations."
Michelob hit such themes in its Super Bowl spots from 2021 and '22. Recent work from Powerade and Nike covered similar territory, focusing on the transcendence of sports, personal satisfaction and spiritual well-being.
Ricardo Marques – Vice President of Marketing, Michelob ULTRA & Global
Talita Andrade – Senior Marketing Director, Michelob ULTRA
Miles Ritenour – Director of Digital Marketing, Michelob ULTRA
Andrew Gelbard – Head of Regional Media
Bridget Inglima – Media Manager, Michelob ULTRA
Lindsay Marzocca - Media Lead, Michelob ULTRA Family
Alexis Unwalla – Director of Digital Marketing, Michelob ULTRA
Jessica Thorpe – PR Lead
Dylan Ruby – Director of Sports Marketing and Partnerships, Michelob ULTRA
Anselmo Ramos – Creative Chairman/Co-Founder
Carmen Rodriguez – GUT Miami Managing Director/ Global Chief Client Officer/ Partner
Juan Javier Peña Plaza – North America Executive Creative Director/ Global Partner
Ricardo Casal – North America Executive Creative Director/ Global Partner
Fernando Ribeiro – Global Chief Strategy Officer/ Partner
Renata Neumann – Head of Production
Kristin Childers – Head of Production
Joselyn Bickford – Head of Accounts
Guido Fusetti – Head of Art
Jeff Schermer – Associate Creative Director
Jose Ramirez – Associate Creative Director
Aurélie Diaz – Art Director
Jared Blinderman – Junior Copywriter
Buchun Jiang – Creative Consultant
Akoma M'ba – Account Director
Manuela Castro – Management Supervisor
Laila Houser – Account Executive
Bruno Steffen – Strategy Director
Junia Parodi – Creative Manager
Christina Moses Cornejo – Creative Manager
Kristy Garcia - Senior Social Project Manager
Vanessa Rodriguez - Project Manager
Ale Marie Odriozola – Senior Producer
Emma Giorelli– Production Intern
Alexandra Velasco – Director of Communications
Karen Snow, Research Specialist
Christine Ginsberg, Project Manager
George Bartko, Co-Founder