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Budweiser's emotional Super Bowl commercial is all about combatting stereotypes

Who is a "typical" American, anyway?
/ Source: TODAY

It's almost Super Bowl Sunday and while football fans are gearing up to watch the San Francisco 49ers face the Kansas City Chiefs, everyone else is getting more excited about the new batch of often hilarious and sometimes surprising commercials set to air during the big game.

While many companies take the humorous angle, others, like Budweiser, are just trying to make us feel all the feels.

On Thursday, the beer brand released its new minute-long spot directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow. Titled "Typical American," the video pairs stereotypical negative labels often associated as American with viral acts of kindness and sweet personal achievements.

According to Budweiser, the spot is meant to remind viewers that “the American spirit is alive through the extraordinary actions of ordinary people."

"This year, Budweiser will celebrate the essence of the American spirit by spotlighting ordinary people doing extraordinary things across the nation — a message we believe is incredibly timely," Ricardo Marques, vice president of marketing core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch, said in a statement.

In one scene, the narrator quips that Americans are “always so competitive,” while showing Hannah Gavios from Queens, New York, complete her second marathon in three years after a spinal cord injury left her partially paralyzed.

It also proves that “showing up uninvited” can be a good thing, like when Mason Miller, a soldier in the U.S. Army, returns home from Afghanistan early to surprise his loved ones.

“Touching other people’s things” can have a positive impact, which is demonstrated by a good samaritan pushing a car to safety during a rough snow storm.

In addition to showcasing everyday people, there are also some famous faces. The ad shows “typical Americans always celebrating with their typical American beer,” with behind-the-scenes footage of the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team celebrating after their big win. Players and newlyweds Ashlyn Harris and Ali Krieger are also seen toasting their victory with bottles of Bud.

The commercial also showcases the brand’s new label, which debuted this month on store shelves and in bars nationwide. The design was inspired by the beverage's packaging from the 1970s and was “updated to highlight the heritage, style and quality of our beer,” a Budweiser spokesperson told TODAY in an email.

Budweiser cans and bottles have a new look in 2020.
Budweiser cans and bottles have a new look in 2020. Budweiser

Changes include the phrase “The Great American Lager” being prominently featured, along with “Brewed in the U.S.A.” on every can and bottle. The company's founding date is called out, and will also be embossed on every bottle’s shoulder by the end of 2020. Budweiser is also showcasing its ingredients front and center: “Brewed by our original process from the Choicest Hops, Rice and Best Barley Malt.”

This certainly isn’t the first time Budweiser has tapped into its sensitive side to get an emotional response from viewers. In 2019, the brand released a special Father’s Day ad highlighting extraordinary stepfathers. The tear-inducing short film shared several true stories of stepchildren who surprised their stepdads by officially removing "step" from their title and asked to be legally adopted.

For its Super Bowl commercial in 2017, Budweiser took a similarly emotional and historic approach, highlighting the immigration story of its co-founder, Adolphus Busch, as he made the journey from Germany to America to start one of the biggest brands of all time.

This year’s Super Bowl commercial will air during the fourth quarter of the game. Get your tissues ready.