The company known for featuring horses and puppies in its Super Bowl ads has taken an unusual detour this year.
Budweiser recounts the immigrant story of its cofounder, Adolphus Busch, as he makes the hardscrabble journey from Germany to America in a one-minute commercial titled, "Born the Hard Way."
"This commercial shows the start of Budweiser’s journey, and while it is set in the 1800's, it's a story we believe will resonate with today's entrepreneurial generation — those who continue strive for their dreams,” said Ricardo Marques, Budweiser’s vice president of marketing.
The commercial pays homage to the hurdles Busch faced after leaving his homeland, depicting him being told, "you're not wanted here." Ultimately, he builds a new life in St. Louis, Missouri, where he would meet Eberhard Anheuser and create the world's largest beer producer.
The unveiling of the ad comes as the nation responds to a controversial immigration action ordered by President Trump. The timing of the parallel appears to be coincidental, according to Budweiser’s news release on the ad, which stresses that the commercial simply focuses on the universal story of the immigrant.
“When Budweiser told us they wanted to celebrate those who embody the American spirit, we realized the ultimate story lived within their own brand history,” said Mike Byrne, chief creative officer at the ad company, Anomaly. “Adolphus Busch is the hero of the Anheuser-Busch American dream story, which makes him the perfect protagonist.”
Past Budweiser ads for the Super Bowl also typically tugged at the heart strings by focusing on the brand's famous Clydesdales horses, as well as everyone's awww-inspiring animal, puppies.