- Instacart and Michelob Ultra partnered to create shoppable TV commercials that coincide with the Anheuser-Busch InBev brand’s Super Bowl LVII advertising, according to a company blog post.
- AB InBev’s first shoppable TV ads include QR codes that viewers can scan to be directed to Michelob Ultra’s page on Instacart, which will also suggest snack pairings from Frito-Lay. The commercials aired during the NFL playoffs and doubled as teasers for Michelob’s gameday ads.
- The tie-up also features shoppable media on Instacart’s app, push notifications and social content. The partnership is the first under Instacart’s new consumer packaged goods (CPG) co-marketing capabilities and points to ongoing interest in QR codes in TV ads.
Instacart and Michelob Ultra are betting on QR codes for this year’s big game as part of a first-of-its-kind partnership between the two brands. The tech-oriented ads could signal an oncoming wave of popularity for the scannable technology, which has historically received mixed reviews.
Meant to encourage consumers to stock up on Michelob ahead of the Super Bowl, the Instacart-embedded ads feature former NFL quarterback Tony Romo, soccer player Alex Morgan and boxer Canelo Álvarez, each pulling inspiration from the classic comedy “Caddyshack.” The creative teases the concept for the beer brand’s two gameday spots. At the end of each commercial, the QR code appears alongside Michelob’s limited-edition Golf Packs.
The QR code component is part of a much larger effort by Michelob Ultra surrounding the big game, which includes 60-second and 30-second ads and a partnership with Netflix. The star-studded commercials, which will see additional cameos from tennis legend Serena Williams and actor Brian Cox, include additional shoppable elements aside from Instacart that allow consumers to browse select clothing items worn in the ad as part of a collaboration with retailer Devereux Golf.
Michelob isn’t the only brand utilizing QR codes for its big game appearance this year. Web3 gaming company Limit Break is making its Super Bowl debut with a spot featuring a scannable code that will reward viewers with a free non-fungible token. In a notable instance of the technology’s use, Coinbase’s 60-second commercial in the 2022 game showed nothing more than a QR code bouncing around the screen. Outside of the event, some are strategizing a longer-term presence for the QR codes, like NBCUniversal, which integrated the technology into an entire season of dating show “Love Island USA.”
Instacart’s partnership with Michelob Ultra is the first under the commerce platform’s new CPG co-marketing offering, which allows brands to leverage integrations across offsite media including social, linear TV and connected TV, in addition to co-branded activations on Instacart’s marketing channels. The service could help bolster Instacart’s ads business as it continues to eye an IPO, a move it had originally planned for in 2022 but pulled back on amid a weak economy.
AB InBev has previously tested new waters with Instacart, including by piloting an email ads product with its brand Stella Artois. Instacart also launched programmatic ad solutions for brands in 2020, with AB InBev among the first to use it.