With the annual American sports holiday known as the Super Bowl fast approaching this Sunday, and with The Who booked as the halftime entertainment, I was pleasantly surprised and heartened to learn that Canadian ska band The Afterbeat will be starring in a Budweiser beer commercial airing during the Super Bowl telecast in Canada. Yes, that is correct. A ska band is being featured in a Super Bowl TV commercial. The news has created quite a stir in Canadian media and is a great opportunity for the band to build a name for itself with the 4 million viewers expected to watch the game in Canada. The ad is expected to run for several weeks following its initial airing this Sunday.
The commercial, which won't be seen by the Super Bowl audience in the U.S. (the Canadian telecast of the game will run its own separate commercials), was shot in Los Angeles last November and features the band playing to a wildly enthusiastic audience in a packed club. Several patrons order a pitcher of Budweiser but the waitress has trouble navigating through the writhing crowd. When the band members are alerted to the difficulty, they slow the music down, quieting the crowd enough to allow the waitress to pass with her precious cargo.
The band released their first album for free online putting their energies into licensing their songs out for TV, movies and commercials. The song 'Rude Boy' caught the ear of a Toronto ad firm which, in turn, pitched it to Budweiser.
Here is video the commercial shoot that took place in Los Angeles:
The Afterbeat formed in Winnipeg, Canada in 2000 and are play a mix of Ska, Reggae, Punk, New Wave, Soul, Rock & Roll. Originally a straight-up ska band, they released their first EP titled 'The Balls Out EP' in 2003 featuring the underground ska hit 'Me & You' which garnered airplay across North America. Continuing their strong Jamaican influence, they refined their sound somewhat for their first full length in 2005 called 'Personals', adding elements of Punk, Soul and Dancehall into the mix. After a few lineup changes, the band has soldiered on incorporating more British Punk and Rock & Roll influences into their sound but still carrying on the ska vibe that they started with.