Ferrell's Bud Light Spot Hits Big Time

– Mike Bierne

CHICAGO Get ready for more Jackie Moon pitches for Bud Light.

The improvisational endorsement from Will Ferrell’s character in New Line Cinema’s release of Semi Pro initially was intended to be an online short. But Anheuser-Busch executives decided to put the ad from DDB, New York and Chicago, on Fox’s Super Bowl telecast during the fourth quarter.

“We agreed with Will’s team a couple weeks ago and ourselves that it would be better for the Super Bowl because it’s an opportunity for a few more jokes; it was a great call,” said Bob Lachky, chief creative officer and evp, global industry development.

More Bud Light TV spots featuring Ferrell as the owner, player and coach for the Flint, Mich., Tropics basketball team will air on spot and national programming leading to the Feb. 29 debut of the film. The brand’s previous movie tie-in, Wedding Crashers, was released by New Line during 2005 and also starred Ferrell.

A-B’s ad featuring a Dalmatian as the personal trainer of a Clydesdale horse vying to make the Budweiser pull team was voted most popular Super Bowl ad on USA Today‘s AdMeter.

The brewer’s ads also got twice as much discussion — most of it positive — as No. 2 brand Audi, per Cymfony, a brand-monitoring firm in Watertown, Mass.

Audi’s agency, Venables Bell & Partners, San Francisco, re-created the horse head scene from The Godfather in a spot that featured the R8 roadster. As of Monday, only five other companies — Pepsi, Coca-Cola, GoDaddy, Bridgestone and E-Trade — collected significant enough online discussion about their ads worth measuring in the Cymfony study.

“For all of Anheuser-Busch experience with mobile, they didn’t do a whole lot of things different from last year,” said Jim Nail, Cymfony’s CMO. “Their strategy is still don’t show all that much before the game.” The company’s teaser ads on YouTube before the game only got about 6,000 views versus 350,000 for Justin Timberlake’s Pepsi ad, Nail said, but A-B is “on top with social media discussion.”

A-B’s Super Bowl spots will get about six more weeks of viewing rotation.