By Drew Ursel

The Broncos weren’t the only ones basking in post-Super Bowl coverage. Budweiser continued trending online after Super Bowl 50’s 111.9 million TV viewers tuned out, thanks to celebrity endorsements and extensive online logistics.

Budweiser’s #GiveADamn campaign took a humorous tone, featuring a video of actress Helen Mirren reprimanding impaired drivers. Although a change in tone from past Budweiser advertisements on drunk driving, the advertisement received extensive play-back in follow-up media discussions. According to audience measurement group Visible Measures, Mirren reached an estimated 22,824,326 viewers.

This particular Budweiser Super Bowl ad employed one of the first “million dollar emojis.” In short, the brand spent over $1 million on Twitter promotion. Budweiser donated $1 for each use of #GiveADamn to drunk driving prevention and even picked up endorsements from rival brewers.


Equally important, Budweiser’s anti-drunk driving PSA partnered with Uber and Lyft on a mobile website for those enjoying a few drinks during the game.
One such imbiber turned out to be Peyton Manning. The quarterback of the victorious Denver Broncos gave a surprise shout-out to the beer-brand, saying he would “drink a couple Budweisers” post-game.
Like Mirren’s #GiveADamn commercial, Manning’s post-Super Bowl endorsement took on a life of its own in the media. Peyton’s on-camera proclamation—valued upwards of $3.2 million—fuelled significant online speculation he was paid by the company for the free publicity. Instead of retreating from the public spotlight, Budweiser embraced the controversy, keeping the discussion going and exerting control over the narrative.
By choosing the right people, staying consistent and keeping messaging positive, Budweiser turned great advertising into a sustained, national PR campaign.

(Photo credit: FoodiesFeed/Jakub Kapusnak)