Budweiser, Anheuser-Busch’s iconic beer brand, has released a new commercial featuring its iconic Clydesdale horses in a patriotic message that many are saying is a pivot back to traditional values for the brand. The one-minute spot was released on social media and features shots of the horses galloping across the country in open fields and past landmarks. A deep-voiced narrator speaks of the “story of the American spirit” as the horses race across the screen.
The commercial comes just two weeks after the Bud Light deal with trans influencer Dylan Mulvaney sparked a huge backlash and the parent company, Anheuser-Busch, lost $6 billion in market cap within six days. The ad appears to be an effort to win back consumers who were angered by the Mulvaney deal, but the public has not been receptive to the campaign.
The ad features two people raising an American flag and the narrator speaking of those who “found opportunity in challenge and hope in tomorrow.” Later, the ad shows the Freedom Tower in place of the World Trade Center, with the narrator saying: “Remember.” This reference has been met with criticism from some, who feel it is an insult to those affected by the events of 9/11.
The commercial also comes amid safety concerns for the Budweiser Clydesdales, as a Budweiser distributor in Missouri canceled all scheduled events to showcase the horses last week. Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth released a statement apologizing for the Bud Light partnership, saying that the company “never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people.”
— That Michael Caputo (@MichaelRCaputo) April 14, 2023
Whitworth is an all-American hero who served in the Marines and the CIA, recruiting and handling spies across the Middle East before going to Harvard Business School. He grew up in Delaware, attended Salesianum School in Wilmington, and graduated from Bucknell University in Pennsylvania.
There are many that are not accepting the ad and apology from Budweiser’s CEO with some posting on Twitter:
Coming soon: pic.twitter.com/LJNiChuS66
— Marcella (@marcykey50) April 17, 2023
While another posted:
That commercial made me cry. Showed me all we have lost. Hit me like a ton of bricks. 😢 You betrayed us @AnheuserBusch !! 🤬
— Vicki (@vikksu) April 17, 2023
The commercial from Budweiser is the latest effort from Anheuser-Busch to win back disgruntled consumers, but it remains to be seen whether the public will accept the ad and the apology from the CEO.