Anheuser-Busch has pulled its Budweiser commercial from the Super Bowl lineup for the first time in nearly four decades. The decision follows similar moves by Coca-Cola and PepsiCo, both of whom withdrew their advertisements earlier this month.

Instead of running their high-profile ad during Super Bowl LV, Budweiser will allocate that budget to the Ad Council, an industry coalition specializing in public-service announcements. In this case, the public-service announcement will educate viewers on the benefits of receiving the Covid-19 vaccine. “We know the resources that go behind investment in a game-day unit are significant," Monica Rustgi, vice president of marketing at Budweiser, told Variety.

While Anheuser-Busch won't advertise its flagship product during the Big Game, the company still intends to run four minutes worth of promotional spots for Bud Light and other brands. In addition, they will run local ads for both Stella Artois and Cutwater Spirits. Still, this year's CBS broadcast will be missing the iconic Clydesdale horse that viewers have grown to love.

In fact, CBS has yet to report a sell-out of its commercial inventory as a whole. In a typical year, a time slot during the Super Bowl is extremely coveted. But in a world rocked by the Covid-19 pandemic, the rules have changed. “We knew we had to do something bigger than beer,” Rustgi stated. “We realized we needed to lean in a bit more with heart. Maybe some of the other marketing tactics took a little bit of a back seat.”

The Super Bowl LV airs on CBS on February 7 at 3:30PM.

Enter your number to get our free mobile app

Gallery — Directors Who Cast Their Own Kids In Movies: