Budweiser’s 2020 Super Bowl ad is titled “Typical American.”
Directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Kathryn Bigelow, the spot is meant to “depict scenes that show the American spirit,” according to CBS.
The 60-second ad is, in the words of Ad Week, a “tear-jerking, patriotic” commercial that “challenges stereotypes about Americans to remind viewers that the nation’s spirit lives in the extraordinary actions of ordinary people.”
Speaking to Ad Week about why they decided to release the ad early, Budweiser vice president of marketing Monica Rustgi said, “2020 is a year where we have the Olympics ahead of us, and the elections ahead of us, and so we wanted to invigorate everyone to come together [and] realize their potential as Americans, all while enjoying a refreshing, cool Bud.”
She added, “We wanted to flip these labels on their head and highlight the powerful, everyday moments, both large and small… We wanted to show extraordinary efforts and feats, defying what is expected of [Americans], and show the result of people coming together.”
The spot will air during the fourth quarter of the Super Bowl. Fans of Budweiser may also notice that the logo for the company is now an updated version of the lager’s 1970s packaging, according to Ad Week.
Some Are Calling It ‘Controversial’
The specific moment in the ad features a peaceful moment during the protest, led by peace activist Ken Nwadike Jr., who offered hugs to police in the area of the protest.
Speaking to WCNC earlier this week, Charlotte City Councilman Braxton Winston said, “They’re using that commercial to sell beer on the highest exposure night of the year in the Super Bowl… That is one of the American ways of doing things. Commercializing struggle. Again, I think it’s in bad taste.”
In response, a spokesperson from Budweiser shared, “This Super Bowl, we wanted to remind people of what actually unites us – like the actions of Ken, the founder of the Free Hugs Movement, in this scene from Charlotte. Like all of the vignettes in Typical American, it shows that the American spirit is very present in real-life moments of kindness and courage.”
Ken Nwadike Jr, or ‘Free Hugs Guy’, Is Featured in the Ad
Nwadike, also known as “free hugs guy”, is a documentary filmmaker and peace activist. What are his thoughts on the commercial?
He tells Fox 5 San Diego, “That’s a message that we really need right now,… What if we just did more good things for one another?”
He added that when he first got called up about the commercial, he didn’t think it was serious. “These are some of the biggest commercials that come on for the year, that everyone watches and talks about,” he said. “To be featured in such a way … It felt amazing. It was almost surreal.”
Be sure to tune into the Super Bowl airing on Fox at 3:30pm PT, 6:30pm ET.