After being absent from advertising in the Super Bowl for more than 30 years due to InBev/Anheuser Busch’s past exclusive contract with the NFL, Molson Coors is returning with a spot featuring two brand, Miller Lite and Coors Light. The spot, titled the “The High Stakes Beer Ad” allows fans 21 and older to predict details of the Molson Coors ad in a free-to-play game on DraftKings, with a $500,000 prize pool at stake.
Potential participants are invited to sign up for an account (up until 3:30 p.m. on February 13) on www.draftkings.com/highstakesbeerad and make picks such on aspects of the commercial such as: which beer (Miller Lite or Coors Light) is mentioned first?; total number of beers; what type of dog will be pictured behind the bar?; number of people with facial hair; what is the bartender wearing?; and will the Coors Light Silver Bullet Train show up? The teaser is shown below.
Scott Bell, Chief Creative Officer at Droga5, the agency that created that notes that pre-engagement is a significant part of the ad’s strategy. “Pre-game engagement has been a crucial part of the campaign since day one,” he says, “The first bettable ad in history is more exciting when people actually bet on it. Thankfully, we’ve already blown past our original goals, with over 170,000 entries. The High Stakes Beer ad is the biggest, non-sporting event ever played on DraftKings, and the picks keep coming.”
Bell further notes that there was an emphasis on making the content entertaining, observing, “As for the ad itself, we wanted to make sure it was an amazing piece of entertainment for everyone, not just the people who bet on it. So while the ad doesn’t explicitly have anything to do with betting or DraftKings, every detail will be high stakes for our invested viewers.”
The ad is coming at a time when the featured brands have been selling well. Last year, Miller Lite and Coors Light combined posted their strongest dollar share performance in more than a decade and grew overall market share in the fourth quarter.
Bell believes the ad will stand out as being different from other ads in this year’s game. “The look of the ad should feel pretty different for the Big Game, especially for a beer commercial. It’s heightened, cinematic and about as epic as humanly possible. And conceptually, it’s a beer battle for the ages… two rival beers in the same ad… the likes of which have never been seen. Buckle up.”
An interesting aspect of the ad is the need to keep its content completely secret prior to the game as betting is associated with the spot. Even Molson Coors’ CEO does not know the ending. Chris Colliton, Executive Creative Director of Droga5 emphasizes the security measures that have been taken, stating, “There is more security around this ad than anything we’ve ever made. An incredibly tiny team is under super strict NDAs, and even most of them don’t know which version is going to air on Sunday. “Highly confidential” is an understatement. It is fun being one of the only Big Game ads that people won’t see before the game. We promise it’ll be worth it.”
This is an ad for which participating levels and consumer reaction will be especially fun to watch for. As Colliton notes about the goal of the ad, “Simply put, Molson Coors wanted to make Super Bowl history, so that’s always been the objective. (And to sell a lot of beer).” The ad certainly is a departure from the standard “A” list celebrity plus humor formula most are using for this year’s big game. How effective will it be? Stay tuned. I will be.