Press Clips: A-B InBev Bets on Super Bowl Ads; 5 Rabbit Slapped with Another Suit

Considering Anheuser-Busch InBev’s close relationship with the NFL, it’s no surprise that the world’s largest brewery has once again secured the most coveted commercial slots during Super Bowl XLVIII, which kicks off on Feb. 2.

The beer giant, which is the exclusive beer sponsor of the NFL, will debut five new ads, with emphasis on a new slogan and a re-closeable aluminum bottle. In a 30-second spot created by Cannonball, the company will introduce its new aluminum bottle in the highly sought after 1A spot, otherwise known as the first in-game commercial.

Later in the game, A-B InBev’s will unveil its “Epic Night” spots. Created by ad agency BBDO, the commercials will introduce viewers to Bud Light’s newest campaign slogan: “The Perfect Beer for Whatever Happens.”

The spot “will be the most robust and digitally integrated campaign in Bud Light history,” Rob McCarthy, Bud Light vice president, said in a press release.

Additionally, A-B InBev will air two ads for the Budweiser brand, each titled “Hero’s Welcome.” The spots will feature celebration of American troops that will also showcase the brand’s recognizable Clydesdale horses.

That’s five ads and a total of three-and-a-half minutes of airtime for the company. At an estimated $4 million per 30-second spot, A-B Inbev’s airtime for Super Bowl Sunday will likely cost the company upwards of $28 million.

That should be great news for Peyton Manning who, after defeating the San Diego Chargers last weekend, couldn’t stop thinking about getting his hands on a cold Bud Light.

The quote opened the door for Longmont, Colo.-based Left Hand Brewing to call an audible, capitalize on the soundbite and capture some free press. On Monday, the brewery tweeted a photo of a case of its Sawtooth Ale and a letter, addressed to Manning and his teammates, offering a “better play call.”

But despite the old adage, not all press is good press. Chicago-based 5 Rabbit Cerveceria is once again making headlines for its legal troubles. The brewery is currently dealing with a host of litigation — four of the brewery’s original investors have filed a lawsuit claiming that 5 Rabbit co-founder Andres Araya and minority owner Randy Mosher depressed the company’s value as a way to force the investors out.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the lawsuit alleges that Araya sold 11 shares of the company to a friend, Diego Foresi, for $250,000 without informing the other investors. The article adds that the company treated Foresi’s stock purchase as company debt rather than equity.

“When 5 Rabbit hired a company to determine its value, it ‘instructed the valuators to treat the investment as debt, not equity as it actually was,’ according to the suit, which ‘significantly reduced 5 Rabbit’s fair market value and the implied value of its shares,’” the Tribune reported.

It’s not the first time 5 Rabbit has been ensnared in legal troubles, either. Last year, Araya filed a defamation lawsuit against Isaac Showaki, one of the original co-founders of 5 Rabbit. According to the Tribune, “In the suit, Araya alleges that Showaki told multiple people that Araya had stolen money from the brewery — including $25,000 from a recent investor — and that he had had an extra-marital affair with a brewery intern.”

Not everything is contentious in craft, however. Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CraftWorks Restaurants announced it has hired former Baskin Robbins executive, Srinivas Kumar, as its new CEO. According to Nation’s Restaurant News, Kumar, who most recently served as CEO of Pearle Vision, spent 20 years as an executive in the restaurant industry. Kumar has been closely watching the growth of craft in recent years and was eager to get into the space.

“The beer category has been flat to declining, but craft beer is seeing double-digit growth,” he told NRN. “If we can catch that tailwind of craft beer, we’re in the right spot.”

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