The Bud Knight died so that his backer could gain a new round of publicity. And now he will live again for much the same reason.
Giant brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev will bring the colorful ad mascot back to life this weekend after allowing him to be killed off during the Super Bowl in a much-scrutinized commercial that helped promote Bud Light as well as the coming final season of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
The new commercial, slated to air during broadcast of the NCAA Final Four this weekend, will show the character rising anew, no doubt putting to rest any fears that Anheuser would have to stop a months-long series of commercials featuring the knight defending the kooky residents of an unnamed medieval kingdom.
Orchestrating the demise of a popular advertising character is not the norm on Madison Avenue. In most instances, advertisers want to find ways to keep their famous figures relevant, not hasten their demise. The Keebler Elves, Green Giant and Geico Gecko are all long in the tooth, but no one can imagine their big-spending backers offing them on national television.
That all changed on February 3, 2019, when viewers of CBS’ broadcast of Super Bowl LIII saw the Bud Knight unseated in a joust by a character from “Game of Thrones,” who – in a dark turn – proceeded to crush the Knight’s helmet, with the man still inside of it. A dragon then laid waste to the village hosting the event.
His revival will no doubt bring Anheuser and Bud Light a new round of attention. Coincidentally, the Knight returns to the ranks of the living just says before the last “Game of Thrones” season is expected to unfurl on AT&T’s HBO, prompting contemplation of whether the two parties decided to delay the Knight’s next big appearance until just before “Thrones” returned as well.