Molson Coors is hoping to stand out from the usual extravagance of Super Bowl ads with a low-key regional spot that epitomizes the southern California spirit of its new light beer.
The 30-second ad, which stars pro skateboarder Paul Rodriguez, will run in more than 70 markets this Sunday, circumventing Anheuser-Busch‘s exclusive rights to national alcohol advertising in the Big Game and marking the biggest Super Bowl buy for the beer conglomerate since 2009.
The goal is to make a nationwide splash for a new premium light beer from Coors-owned San Diego brewery Saint Archer, of which Rodriguez is also a co-founder.
“When most other brands—and especially most other beer brands—are going for a celebrity-driven, comedy, high-energy type of spot, we’re going to stand out by being just the opposite of that,” said Paul Verdu, vp and head of Molson Coors’ Tenth and Blake family of craft breweries.
Austin-based Preacher produced the ad featuring Rodriguez whistling to the tune of “Patience” by Guns N’ Roses as he skates between various San Diego liquor stores and markets in search of one where Saint Archer Gold isn’t sold out. The brand enlisted Alex Ebert, lead singer of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, to compose a version of the track best suited to laid-back whistling.
Watch a 60-second version of the spot below:
Verdu said the company decided to return the Super Bowl for the first time in more than a decade because it was the logical launching pad to promote a beer slated for a January debut.
“And what we landed on was the need to do something in the Big Game,” he said.
The brand strategically chose the markets to get as close as possible to a national buy without violating category rights. It’s not the only alcohol brand to take this tack. Yellow Tail ran the first Super Bowl ad for wine this way in 2017.