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“Ghost of Spud” Returns Temporarily in 2017 Super Bowl Ad

A 30-second Super Bowl commercial is a bargain at $5.5 million, once advertising companies factor in the expected 110 million people tuning in, the social media marketing tie-ins, and the Monday morning water cooler talk. Plus, most people tune in just for the commercials. Rankings and ratings started well before kickoff. Super Bowl LI had some incredible commercials: poignant, powerful, and quirky. There was a commercial for every viewer—even the paranormal enthusiast. Anheuser-Busch brought back 80s “original party animal,” Spud MacKenzie from the grave.


Bud Light’s famous “spokesdog” debuted in 1987 in a Super Bowl XXI commercial. He was an overnight success. Although “Spud” was portrayed as a male, the female bull terrier named “Honey Tree Evil Eye” captured the hearts of beer drinkers across the world. The advertising campaign ran for three (3) Super Bowls: XXI (1987); XXII (1988); and XXIII (1989). During that time, Spud was credited with increasing sales 20%. After thirty years (30), more than 70% of people over the age of 21 still recognize him. During the 80s, advocacy groups were concerned that the huggable dog was alluring children to drink—or at least to wear the Bud Light merchandise. The commercials ended nearly as fast as they started. Tragically, the original “Spud” died in 1993.


The 2017 commercial was a throwback acknowledging the 30th anniversary of Spud’s debut. Bud Light shifted the focus from party-party-party “Spud,” now played by “Gigi,” to wise sage Spud proclaiming, “You’re here for the friendships!” He has returned from the grave to encourage a young professional to join his friends by participating in Trivia Night and attending get-togethers where Bud Light is served. Spud’s mission: reminding his young friend that spending time with friends is more fun than staying home alone. Yes, it had Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol feel about it.

In addition to broadcasting during the game, the commercial has had over 7.6 million views on YouTube.com. Anheuser-Busch claims the commercial is temporary and will disappear just like real ghosts do. Watch it before is vanishes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYeXldMEpV8.