Budweiser on Super Bowl Sidelines, AI Media Relations, 2020’s PR Miracles and More


Happy Tuesday, Lunch Breakers! Now that we know it’s Chiefs-Buccaneers in Super Bowl LV, we’re aligning our loyalties with either The Goat (Brady) or The Kid (Mahomes) and planning out our socially distanced Super Bowl spreads. In this week’s edition, we have the latest Big Game commercial updates, an AI-written PR pitch and some awe-inspiring PR campaigns of 2020.

Budweiser Bows Out of the Big Game

There won’t be any Clydesdales, puppy love or ‘Whassup!’ punchline callbacks in two Sundays. For the first time in nearly 40 years, Anheuser-Busch announced it will put Budweiser on the Super Bowl sidelines. The iconic beer brand will instead donate the ad money to COVID-19 vaccine awareness. The announcement follows similar moves from other brands, like Pepsi, Coke and Avocados from Mexico.

Pitch (Too) Perfect

We’re probably years away from AI domination, but that still begs the question—does that also include media relations? Marketing specialists BuzzStream and Fractl shared some AI-written e-mail subject lines and pitches to 500 PR pros and journalists. Turns out the majority of respondents (79%) said they would open the e-mail based on the subject lines. Those pitches, by the way, were also surprisingly convincing. Bottom line – it’s important to get in the habit of using succinct subject lines for personalized pitches instead of relying on an outdated ‘Spray & Pray’ media relations mindset.

The PR Miracles of 2020

If you’re looking for some media relations inspiration at the start of a new year, we’ve got you covered. Check out Muck Rack’s round-up of some of the noteworthy PR campaigns to come out of the uncertainty that was 2020. From Ocean Spray amplifying it’s cranberry juice-chugging, longboard-riding TikTok superfan to an artist illustrating national park one-star Yelp reviews, there are plenty of lessons PR pros can use for 2021: know how—and when—to leverage user-generated content, invest in a solid social listening platform, and don’t be afraid to take risks.

Arby’s Sea Shanty Diss

Speaking of TikTok and social listening, hats off to Arby’s for getting in on the ‘ShantyTok’ trend. If you’ve been living under a rock or haven’t heard the umpteenth rendition of The Wellerman, sea shanties are back in vogue. Arby’s threw its hat in the ring (the sea?) to take a swipe at “the shrunken sandwich looking square and boring” known as the McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish. Arby’s has the meats, and also the diss track. McDonald’s has 24 hours to respond, but we should probably keep an eye out for a one-up Twitter roast from Wendy’s.

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