NEW YORK - The puppies and the Clydesdales are coming back.
Anheuser-Busch is bringing back its canine and Clydesdales combo this Super Bowl, hoping to top last year's "Puppy Love" spot that showed a cute puppy bonding with a Clydesdale and topped most advertising polls as the best commercial in advertising's biggest showcase.
Super Bowl 49 is set to be broadcast on Feb. 1 by NBC in Phoenix, and advertisers are already detailing their ad plans. Thirty-second blocks are reportedly going for $4.5 million, and about 111.5 million people tuning in last year, according to Nielsen, so the stakes are high.
"The mass appeal of the Super Bowl presents an unparalleled platform to launch 360-degree campaigns that ultimately deliver against our top priority: sell more beer," said Jorn Socquet, vice president, U.S. marketing at Anheuser-Busch in a statement.
Anheuser-Busch, traditionally one of the biggest advertisers during the game, said Wednesday that it plans to air two 60-second spots for its Budweiser brand, including one called "Lost Dog" that features a "heartwarming tale of two friends having each other's backs," said Brian Perkins, Budweiser vice president.
A second 60-second ad is still under wraps, but it will focus on the "brewing credentials" of how Budweiser is brewed - a key point to attract millennials, who have increasingly gravitated toward craft brews perceived as higher-quality. Both spots are expected to be released before the Super Bowl airs.
For its Bud Light brand, Anheuser-Busch will air another 60 second spot, called "Coin." Similar to last year, the ad will be shot in reality-TV style and feature a real fan who is having an adventure with a life-size, interactive Pac Man game, in keeping with the brand's slogan "Up for Whatever."
Anheuser-Busch has another 30-second slot that it is still deciding how to fill.
The goal with the entire campaign is to target millennials and be "digital first," said Socquet. St. Louis-based Anheuser-Busch plans to release all the ads early, but the timing is still to be determined.
Other Super Bowl advertisers include Pepsi and Frito-Lay, Kia, Dove Men + Care, Nationwide, Snickers, GoDaddy and others.