This weekend, craft brewery Funky Buddha will air a hard seltzer ad during Super Bowl LV, urging viewers to get funktastic.
Last fall, the Fort Lauderdale-based brewer partnered with Miami-based creative agency the Community to develop a marketing campaign for its new line of hard seltzer. The 30-second commercial premiered statewide on January 31 and will air through February, including in a spot during the third quarter of the Super contest between the defending champion Kansas City Chiefs and the first-ever Super Bowl home team, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The marketing campaign, launched on the verge of the company's expansion into ten southeastern states, shows viewers how to "funky the ordinary" and unleash their own "funky face" with a sip of Funky Buddha hard seltzer. This year, the cost of a half-minute spot during Super Bowl LV is estimated at $5.6 million — about the same as last year.
Advertising during the Super Bowl was an easy decision Funky Buddha, the company's brand director, John Linn, tells New Times.
"We debuted our hard seltzer in April, and right from the start it was performing very well — better than any of us anticipated," Linn says. "The idea to create a Super Bowl ad came about in a marketing meeting. The Super Bowl is in Florida, and it seemed like a great way to introduce the product to a larger audience."
Linn says sales of the variety 12-pack of Funky Buddha hard seltzer (retail price $19) have exceeded expectations since its launch in April 2020, making the product the company's best-selling item in 2020 and again in 2021. The tropical-themed hard seltzer variety packs will initiate out-of-state sales in March.
Linn attributes the success to Funky Buddha's recipe, which eschews artificial flavorings in favor of natural sweeteners and extracts to create the 4.7 percent ABV beverage. Current varieties include mango-guava, key lime-cherry, blood orange, and pink grapefruit. Coinciding with the expansion in distribution, four new flavors will launch in March: passionfruit-dragon fruit, pineapple-coconut, kiwi-tangerine, and starfruit.
"We wanted to make a seltzer the way only Funky Buddha can, which meant using quality ingredients like cane sugar and agave and taking the funky approach to flavors that for us means local and tropical," Linn elaborates. "It's also got our attitude. It's fun and creative and just different and more exciting than anything else out there."
The Super Bowl commercial, which was shot in Los Angeles in a single day, almost didn't happen.
"We came really late to the game, and it was hard to find a way to shoot with the COVID restrictions at the time," Linn recounts. "The entire process was very nerve-racking — it's crazy to think we were able to get something like this done in a matter of months. But we're all stoked with how it came out and can't wait for everyone to see it come game day."
Those of legal drinking age who are inclined to get their Funky Buddha game face on before game day can use the “Funky Mouths" lens on Snapchat to create their own.
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Nicole Danna is a Palm Beach County-based reporter who began covering the South Florida food scene for New Times in 2011. She also loves drinking beer and writing about the area's growing craft beer community.