Food & Drink

Beer company’s Super Bowl ad to address growing problem in two Carolinas cities

Beer commercials are among the most popular ads that air during the Super Bowl.

One beer company is trying to take advantage of that interest to promote its efforts in tackling a serious problem — student loan debt.

Natural Light, aka Natty Light, said “college loans get you in the door, but college debt can ruin the party,” in a news release. That is why it is trying to address the issue.

The beer owned by brewer Anheuser-Busch donated $1 million last year “to help offset the crippling $1.5 trillion in collective student loan debt across America,” according to the news release. Natty Light is planning to donate that much again, and “pledged to give away $10,000,000 over the next 10 years to help pay down student loans.”

And it is targeting the areas where college debt has the greatest impact.

Natty Light will broadcast a Super Bowl ad in “five cities with the some of the highest student loan debt in America,” it said in the news release.

Columbia and Raleigh are two of the five markets where viewers will see the commercial, according to Natty Light’s news release.

The South Carolina capital ranks ninth among cities with the most student loan debt, Forbes reported. The financial magazine listed the median loan balance at $20,560, and reported that 23.3 percent of the residents owe more than $50,000.

Natural Light_Beeramids.jpg
Natural Light

Raleigh is ranked fourth on the Forbes list, with the median loan balance at $21,357 and 22.9 percent of the residents owing more than $50,000.

The other cities racked by student loan debt where the ad will air include Jackson, Mississippi; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Richmond, Virginia, according to the news release. Richmond is ranked No. 3 on the Forbes list, behind only Atlanta and Washington D.C.

The Super Bowl spot airing in the five markets features winners of Natty Light’s College Debt Relief Program contest in 2018, with “their video submissions and inspiration for going to college,” the news release states.

Natty Light, which was Anheuser-Busch’s first reduced-calorie light beer when it was introduced in 1977, is holding a contest to reward 70 participants who “post a video to social media from now until May 18 with your inspiration for going to college.” Contest winners will get help paying “down their student loans,” the news release said.

For more information on the contest, go online to

“Natty Light is committed to helping graduates remember college for the good times, not the burden of debt that follows,” the news release said.

Related stories from The State in Columbia SC

Noah Feit is a Real Time reporter with The State and McClatchy Carolinas Regional Team. The award-winning journalist has worked for multiple newspapers since starting his career in 1999.