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Budweiser celebrates bars reopening by reuniting old mascots

The horse and puppy first became friends in a 2014 commercial called "Puppy Love."
This furry friend is horsing around in Budweiser's new ad celebrating the return of bars.
This furry friend is horsing around in Budweiser's new ad celebrating the return of bars. Budweiser/YouTube
/ Source: TODAY

It's been a difficult past few months for bars and restaurants across the country. Now that many are starting to reopen, Budweiser is celebrating the return of grabbing a drink with a buddy by reuniting some adorable furry friends.

In the beer brand's new "Reuniting with Buds" commercial, Budweiser's famous Clydesdale horses and an adorable Labrador retriever puppy each travel from afar to meet up — presumably after spending the last several weeks social distancing responsibly.

The commercial, which is set to Queen's "Don't Stop Me Now," was released Tuesday and has already racked up nearly 100,000 views across Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. The spot begins with a Budweiser sign flickering back to life, followed by a beautiful Clydesdale horse leaping over a fence, then breaking into a run as the puppy peeks his head out from a bale of hay.

The animals run towards each other as a bartender is seen drying a glass, signifying the return to a "new normal" that Americans have been anticipating throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

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Finally, the horse and puppy friends are reunited and are seen joyfully trotting together as a message reading, "We can't wait to see our buds. But when we do, let's do it safely," flashes across the screen.

Many on social media have called the commercial "touching," while acknowledging that they're also ready to get back to a time when they can socialize with friends.

The iconic Clydesdale and cute Labrador first met in a 2014 Super Bowl spot called "Puppy Love," where the animals' budding friendship began. The current ad even pulled from previously shot footage in order to abide by current social distancing guidelines.

“For us, there isn’t a more iconic duo than the Clydesdales and Budweiser puppy that spread joy, and the goal of this ad was to celebrate their reunion after months apart," Monica Rustgi, Budweiser's vice president of marketing, told TODAY Food via email. "As the entire country slowly starts to reopen and share this very same excitement of getting together, we wanted to also remind people that we must reunite with our buds safely, by following state and local guidelines."

During the pandemic, Anheuser-Busch, which produces Budweiser, donated $1 million to the U.S. Bartenders Guild’s Bartender Emergency Assistance Program for its COVID-19 Relief and Response Program. The company also gave $2 million to local and regional organizations currently supporting on-premise bar and restaurant workers who have been affected by the health crisis.

Although many bars and restaurants are starting to reopen nationwide, many are questioning whether it's still too soon as new cases of coronavirus have spiked in several states as people resume normal socializing habits. An uptick in positive COVID-19 cases among restaurant and bar employees has caused restaurateurs to shut down their newly reopened establishments in a bid to further curb the spread of the virus.