New York (AFP)

No commercials touting Pepsi, Coca-Cola or Budweiser for this Super Bowl 2021: due to the pandemic, several major brands have decided to ignore the television event of the year, giving way to emerging brands which are resistant to the health crisis.

For the first time in 37 years, America's most famous beer, Budweiser, will not have a spot during the broadcast of the NFL Professional Football League Finals on February 7.

She did not buy any of the 30-second windows of this sporting high mass lasting over four hours, just like Coca-Cola, Audi, Hyundai, Procter & Gamble or Pepsi, all regulars at the event.

Coca-Cola says it made this decision "to ensure that we are investing in the appropriate resources at this unprecedented time".

The group announced, at the end of December, the elimination of 2,200 jobs in the world.

Budweiser's parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, will allocate the Super Bowl budget to the Ad Council, an organization that carries out public utility messages, in particular to promote vaccination against the coronavirus.

Staging your own absence is also a marketing strategy to attract attention: Budweiser has made a spot, posted on Monday, to explain the lack of advertising during the match.

"They're hoping for favorable coverage of their decision, there's no doubt about it," said Tim Calkins, professor of marketing at Northwestern University.

- "A rare opportunity" -

Sign that this is not just a renunciation: if the Budweiser brand will be absent from the broadcast, the AB InBev group will still be present with spots for its Bud Light or Michelob beers.

And Pepsi has taken a side road by broadcasting, from mid-January, a spot featuring singer The Weeknd, who will provide the half-time concert of the match, a segment of which the lemonade is a sponsor.

From a big-budget movie to a new taste of crisps, the Super Bowl is often the occasion for a product launch, but with the economy slowing down, many brands are putting off new stuff.

Passing your turn also makes it possible to avoid the odd one with a badly received spot and endlessly commented on on social networks.

Between pandemic and politics, "Americans are sensitive on many subjects at the moment", analyzes Tim Calkins.

"And the last thing you want is to offend people."

The poster for this final, with legendary quarterback Tom Brady (43) of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, against rising star Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs, is nevertheless enticing, and should attract more than 100 million viewers in the States -United.

To ignore "is a big mistake," said Larry Chiagouris, professor of marketing at Pace University in New York.

"This is a rare opportunity," he said, especially since "Americans are hungry for sport", with a number of competitions greatly reduced by restrictions due to the coronavirus.

Despite the withdrawal of several advertisers, including Hollywood studios that have put their blockbusters in the fridge, the price of the 30-second spot has only fallen slightly, to $ 5.5 million against 5.6 last year. .

Because several emerging brands have taken up the places left vacant, including the fast food brand Chipotle, which will be the baptism of fire.

Rather than a light tone, usually the rule at the Super Bowl but less obvious in the midst of a pandemic, the restaurateur has chosen a serious message, focused on support for reasoned American agriculture.

Another newcomer, the DoorDash delivery platform will tout its role in stimulating the local economy.

"We're going to see a lot of companies that have weathered the pandemic very well," said Tim Calkins.

"And it makes perfect sense for brands like that to advertise at the Super Bowl."

The academic does not see any redistribution at work in the long term.

"I think next year you'll see a lot of Super Bowl comeback marks."

© 2021 AFP