Surprise (orange) twist: Blue Moon prevails in ‘High Stakes Beer Ad’ during Super Bowl

A showdown between “Great Taste” and “Mountain Cold Refreshment” ended with a surprise twist during today’s Super Bowl, with Blue Moon prevailing in Molson Coors’ highly anticipated “High Stakes Beer Ad.”

While Coors Light and Miller Lite – Molson Coors’ top-selling brands – duked it out in a classic bar brawl over the majority of the 30-second spot, Blue Moon Belgian White Belgian wheat-style ale swooped in during the final seconds, appearing on the bar top as a voiceover deadpanned “Actually, it’s a Blue Moon commercial.”  


The result is a trifecta of sorts for Molson Coors. It’s a Coors Light ad. It’s a Miller Lite ad. And, for the final seconds, it’s a Blue Moon ad. The Super Bowl spot celebrates each brand’s unique identity. And while Blue Moon prevailed at the end of the spot, Coors Light and Miller Lite were featured and showcased at every turn in the leadup to the big game.

“The idea of a twist at the end is something we’ve always loved about this campaign,” says Michelle St. Jacques, chief marketing officer at Molson Coors. “The truth is, we didn’t make the final call until recently. We filmed eight different endings, but we knew that only Blue Moon could settle the battle between Miller Lite and Coors Light.”

Blue Moon, the No. 1 craft beer brand in America, beat overwhelming odds to claim the ad; of the 257,142 people who participated in a DraftKings pool, just 3.79% chose the craft beer with a hint of coriander and signature Valencia orange garnish as the winner.  

Blue Moon, St. Jacques says, can be found on tap at more bars across America than nearly any other beer. It’s an icon in its own right, and it has pro sports in its DNA. Born in 1995 at the Sandlot Brewery at Coors Field in Denver, the beer can be found in more than 20 football stadiums nationwide.  

“Blue Moon is truly one of a kind. When drinkers see a Blue Moon cross the bar, they want one. Simple as that,” St. Jacques says.

Blue Moon’s victory comes after weeks of intrigue around Molson Coors’ first Super Bowl ad in 33 years, fueled by a campaign shrouded intentionally in a veil of secrecy.

“The element of surprise was entirely purposeful, and it’s backed up by research,” St. Jacques says, pointing to a Morning Brew and Harris poll that found nearly three in four Americans think advertisers shouldn’t release their spots before the game.

In recent years, a growing number of Super Bowl advertisers have pre-released their big game spots, hoping to boost more conversation around their brands than a traditional, 30-second spot typically affords. But Molson Coors took an anachronistic tack, and data show it paid off. 

The approach generated more than 6 billion media impressions and 1,300 articles – a Molson Coors record – and helped boost displays of Molson Coors’ brands in the three weeks leading into the matchup between Philadelphia and Kansas City, according to IRI multi-outlet and convenience data for the three weeks ended Jan. 29.

With a piece of $500,000 in real money up for grabs, the “High Stakes Beer Ad” pool ranked as the top free-to-play lifestyle contest in the history of DraftKings.

On top of that, pitting Coors Light and Miller Lite against each other in the month leading up to the Super Bowl triggered widespread speculation, and in turn, conversation around Molson Coors’ top two brands, St. Jacques says. It’s a theme repeated throughout the majority of the Super Bowl commercial.  

“This 30-second spot is a marketer’s dream – often we’re pushing for more branding in our spots, and this ad really is an epic tribute to our most-iconic beer brands," she says. "Not only do we talk about Coors Light’s refreshment and Miller Lite’s great taste throughout, but our beers and branded neon signs are all over the bar, the background music is even chanting Miller and Coors. And – on top of this – our lead actors are holding our beers in their hands the entire time.”

"The spot itself is a celebration of what our premium light brands stand for," St. Jacques says. "Sneaking in Blue Moon in last few seconds is just the cherry on top.”

Blue Moon, which grew share of the craft beer segment in 2022, has big plans to build off its Super Bowl win with its recently launched One of a Kind Every Time campaign in 2023.