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Budweiser, Coke, Pepsi pass on Super Bowl commercials in 2021

Some big names have decided not to advertise in Super Bowl LV in order to better allocate funds spent.

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An aerial view of Raymond James Stadium ahead of Super Bowl LV on January 31, 2021 in Tampa, Florida. Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images

Indulging in Super Bowl advertising has become almost as traditional as watching the game itself. The high profile event results in the biggest TV ratings of the calendar year, and thus the highest prices for commercials. This year, Super Bowl 55 commercials will run $5.6 million for 30 seconds of air time.

Major brands regularly shell out the money for a commercial, but this year, some big-name companies have opted to forego advertisements on the big day to better allocate funds amid the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most notable absences for Super Bowl 55’s commercial lineup will be from Budweiser, who won’t advertise during the big game for the first time in 37 years.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Anheuser-Busch announced that in an effort to “prioritize humanity and purpose,” Budweiser will not be advertising in Super Bowl 55. As a corporation, they will instead opt to “reallocate that investment to support the Ad Council and public awareness and education throughout the year for the COVID-19 vaccination effort.” It’s the first time in 37 years that Budweiser won’t have a commercial in the Super Bowl.

However, despite the opt out for Budweiser specifically, fans of the Anheuser-Busch brands won’t totally be left out hung out to dry. During the game, fans can instead look forward to commercials from brands that fall under the Anheuser-Busch, including Bud Light, Bud Light Seltzer, Michelob ULTRA, and Michelob ULTRA Organic Seltzer.

Coca-Cola and Pepsi are two more notable companies opting out of traditional Super Bowl advertising. Coca-Cola reps said they made this choice, “to ensure we are investing in the right resources during these unprecedented times.” Pepsi is sponsoring the halftime show — featuring The Weeknd — and will be leaning into that with a campaign leading into the show.