In a Super Bowl spot that brings together the two biggest football stars in Miami history (and the star of the biggest “football” show on streaming), Michelob Ultra is betting that it will stand out in a crowded commercial, er, pitch.
The Anheuser-Busch brand has tapped Inter Miami superstar Lionel Messi, Miami Dolphins legend Dan Marino and Ted Lasso principal Jason Sudeikis to star in the spot.
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The ad begins with Messi ordering a Michelob Ultra from a bar, before joining a beach soccer game while he waits, with Sudeikis watching on: “Leo, we go way back,” he says. Messi then kicks the ball onto a yacht where Marino is standing, and the NFL hall-of-famer throws the ball back to the beach, where Messi scores a goal, and gets his beer.
“I can tell you that this is a multi-month process, we want to make sure that we bring our very best plans forward for a moment like the Super Bowl, so it’s been a while in the making,” says Michelob Ultra VP of marketing Ricardo Marques in an interview. “In the back end of the year we brought this [idea] and we started gathering the talent and I can tell you that it was not as challenging or as difficult as you might think to bring these amazing names together, because we have a great story to tell, because we have a great brand in Michelob Ultra, we have a story that people connected with.
“Messi, Merino, and of course, Sudeikis, it was actually great to see them having a great time on set,” he adds. “I was there with it with a crew and it was everything that you see translated to camera, it was genuine emotions from enjoyment of being part of telling this great story.”
The brand is betting that U.S. interest in soccer — driven in part by Messi — will help the beer brand grow marketshare in a crowded space. The brand has partnered with other global soccer stars, sponsors Team USA, and is the beer sponsor of Copa América USA 2024.
“The bigger picture for us with Michelob Ultra is the opportunity that we see within the soccer space,” Marques says. “Soccer is about to enter a golden era here in the U.S. market in the context of Copa America being hosted here this year; next year, we have the FIFA Club World Cup; and of course culminating in 2026 with the FIFA World Cup, so we have the three biggest soccer events in the world being hosted right here at home over the next three years.
“So when you look at how quickly soccer is growing, not only with our Hispanic audience but growing across the board, with consumers from all walks of life, it instantly makes it a very, very interesting, very relevant space for a brand with the growth ambitions of Michelob Ultra,” he adds. “And of course, when you add that we have this amazing partnership with Lionel Messi, which we are incredibly excited about, you can see that we have a very compelling plan right from the get-go using the Super Bowl to set the stage for our plan that will unfold throughout the year.”
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