Moving away from the stories of love, puppies and horses from years past, Budweiser took a deeper approach to their 2017 Super Bowl commercial.
Titled “Born The Hard Way,” the beer ad tells the story of a young immigrant, Adolphus Busch, on his journey from Hamburg, Germany to St. Louis, where he meets future Budweiser co-founder Eberhard Anheuser.
He starts his journey on a ship, being whipped across the ocean while enduring rough conditions. When he finally lands in America, he’s greeted with prejudice in New Orleans and told he isn’t welcome.
He boards a paddle wheel boat and heads up the Mississippi River, but the craft catches fire, sending the passengers diving into the water. He wanders through thick brush to a clearing then walks in the rain through the woods, before finally arriving in St. Louis, Missouri.
The commercial then cuts to the interior of a bar. Two beers are placed in front of patrons.
“Thank you,” Adolphus says, “But, next time this is the beer we drink,” pointing to a sketch of Budweiser’s iconic logo in a book.
The man standing next to him introduces himself as Eberhard Anheuser. Busch shakes his hand and says, “Adolphus Busch.”
In St. Louis, the famous Clydesdales make a quick cameo, as Adolphus Busch finally reaches his destiny. The commercial ends with the message “When nothing stops your dream, this is the beer we drink.”
Ad Week reports that Budweiser’s internal marketing team and their creative agency, Anomaly, spent 8 months working on the spots, so they couldn’t have foreseen the nationwide protests over Trump’s recent immigration policy.
Ricardo Marques, vice president of marketing at Budweiser, has said in a statement that the commercial is “a story we believe will resonate with today’s entrepreneurial generation — those who will continue to strive for their dreams.”
Budweiser stressed that the commercial focuses on the universal story of the immigrant.
Mike Bryne, the chief creative officer of the advertisement agency that helped create the commercial, Anomaly, said in a statement, “When Budweiser told us that they wanted to celebrate those who emody the American spirit, we realized the ultimate story lived within their own brand history. Adolphus Busch is the hero of the Anheuser-Busch American dream.”
The commercial is set in St. Louis but over 100 people participated in making the ad, which they shot outside of New Orleans.
Super Bowl LI will air this Sunday on FOX 4. Coverage will begin at 11 a.m. with Skip and Shannon Undisputed, followed by Fox Super Bowl Kickoff at noon, with official pregame coverage airing from 1 to 5:30 p.m. The game will start at 5:30 p.m.