In the spirit of the campaign for Budweiser this summer that “renamed” the beer “America,” Bud Light is appealing to the parochial interests of US consumers in a different way: through their favorite NFL teams.
Bud Light is releasing 720 million of its newly redesigned NFL team cans and will launch a nationwide marketing campaign starring those cans on Thursday night when the 2016/17 pro football season kicks off.
The Official Beer Sponsor of the NFL has released individual can designs for 28 teams — although it doesn’t have agreements to cover the Packers, Cowboys, Bears or Vikings.
The ad campaign kicks off with a 75-second commercial titled “This Is Your Can’s Year” that stars former NFL players Bo Jackson, Justin Tuck (at top) and Tim Couch and was directed by music and film director Mark Romanek with a voiceover by actor Michael K. Williams.
“Just like wearing your favorite player’s jersey or team colors is a badge of honor, so is drinking from your Bud Light team can,” said Mark Goldman, senior marketing director for Bud Light, in a press release. “Our mission with our new film was to pay tribute to the passion fans feel for their team, and capture the optimism that we all feel as NFL fans at the beginning of the season when it truly can be your team’s year.”
The team can concept was introduced in 2013, but in bringing the idea back with a more minimalist design this year, Bud Light can tap into a number of interesting stories—and fan passions—around the league that weren’t present then.
Some are included in the long-form commercial, such as the fact that the can for the Los Angeles Rams will greet a team in that city for the first time in 22 years, and the notion that the woebegone Cleveland Browns can’t seem to find a franchise quarterback.
Besides the unavailability of cans rendered in the images of America’s Team and three-quarters of the NFC North, limitations of the new Bud Light promotion include the fact that each team’s can is only available in the area around where it plays, so the NFL has come up with the generic “blue shield” can above for the league to promote togetherness.
And because each can is sold only in separate states, collectors can’t easily get them all. But what Jets fan would want a Patriots can anyway?