The beer giant will tout its Budweiser Black Crown brand during Super Bowl XLVII on Feb. 3. The beer is to be on sale nationwide by Jan. 21.
Last year, A-B introduced another brand, Bud Light Platinum, to the massive audience of the Big Game.
"The Super Bowl really is the ideal venue to launch something new," says Budweiser Vice President Rob McCarthy, noting that Super Bowl viewers, likely to surpass 110 million, are engaged with the ads as they watch the game live.
Black Crown's recipe was picked from among six limited-edition beers that were created by Budweiser brewmasters earlier this year. Based on positive consumer feedback, A-B decided to take this formula national.
The new beer, a golden amber lager, is "a little bit darker and a little bit more flavorful" than the traditional Budweiser lager, says McCarthy.
With 6% alcohol by volume, Black Crown also has more alcohol content than traditional Budweiser's 5%. And the premium brew will be about 15% more expensive, McCarthy says.
A-B hopes to cater to variety-seeking Millennials with the new beer.
"This brand will appeal to a broad range of beer drinkers, but especially to 21-to-34-year-old, trend-setting-type consumers," says McCarthy.
In the Super Bowl ad, a brewmaster salutes a group of American beer drinkers seated at a table and also toasts the Black Crown brand.
The new brand may get more than one game ad. A-B shot two 30-second commercials with the same theme, but executives still are deciding whether to air one or two Black Crown ads in the game.
New brews, such as Bud Light Platinum and Bud Light Lime Lime-A-Rita, have helped A-B reverse its U.S. sales decline of the last few years, says Eric Shepard, executive editor for the newsletter Beer Marketer's Insights.
Industry leader A-B, as well as other beer makers, fell behind as spirit makers offered consumers a wide range of new products, including vodkas that come in different flavors, he says.
But this year, the beer industry is showing a recovery. New flavors, as well as an improving economy, helped to reverse the slide, Shepard says.
As for the Super Bowl, A-B is the game's exclusive beer advertiser and will be a top advertiser in the game. The company still is determining the total ad time it will have in the game and the final lineup of other brands that it will promote.
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