Shock Top is making its Super Bowl debut this year, with an ad that the brand promises will be a departure from the traditional beer commercial.
Actor and comedian T.J. Miller will star in the brand’s first ever Super Bowl ad, which features him chatting with the wheat beer’s mascot: a talking orange wedge called Wedgehead. The company released an extended cut of the ad online on Thursday.
“It’s the first time anything other than a mainstream lager has been on the Super Bowl,” Jake Kirsch, Shock Top’s vice president, told Business Insider. “It’s a very different objective than Budweiser or Bud Light might have… The majority of people have not [tried Shock Top]. They don’t know we exist.”
Miller was picked to lead the campaign because he fit the company’s image of the brand — unfiltered, approachable, a little quirky. It’s a role that Miller says he was more than happy to fill, as a fan of the beer.
“It’s almost like the more the big beer brands diversify, the more it increases beer culture,” Miller told Business Insider. “So that, with the advent of this marijuana culture — I think it’s just good for the American economy, goldarn it.”
With the growth of craft beers, major beer companies like AB InBev (Shock Top’s parent company) are increasingly investing in beers that appeal to the millennial customer. Shock Top is intended as a stepping stone between brands like Bud Light (which is still the No. 1 beer in the US, though sales are falling) and craft acquisitions such as Breckenridge Brewery.
Kirsch says he hopes that watching commercial, viewers feel that Shock Top is an accessible brand that they would pick up at the store.
When asked what he hopes the ad achieves, Miller has an answer only he could provide.
“Eat more Chick-fil-A,” he says. “No… Wheat beers don’t need to be for beer snobs. There are good beers that are very accessible that aren’t lagers.”
And just one more thing:
“Just try Shock Top. Maybe if you get drunk enough, you also will hallucinate the idea of a wedgehead.”
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