Budweiser’s Clysdale is back with an important message: “In the home of the brave, down never means out.”
The minute-long commercial for Super Bowl LVI, entitled “A Clysdale’s Journey,” follows the iconic horse’s recovery after a leg injury. Against the soundtrack of a slowed-down version of “The Star-Spangled Banner,” the Clysdale injures its leg jumping over a fence and must recover during a long winter.
Under the watch of Budweiser’s trusty retriever, the Clysdale once again runs.
The spot was directed by Chloe Zhao, the Academy Award-winning director of “Nomadland” and more recently, Marvel’s “Eternals.”
On Instagram, Zhao thanked the Turtle Ranch in Wyoming “for the incredible trainings they and their team did for our spot! I was in awe. It was beautiful to watch the connection and trust between them and these wonderful Clydesdales. We are so lucky to share this land with these wonderful animals!”
Budweiser Sees Its Clysdales as ‘a Symbol of America’
Budweiser opened up about the moral responsibility they felt with this year’s Super Bowl ad after deciding not to air a commercial in 2021.
“The Clydesdales are, for many people, a symbol of America, a symbol of hope, of strength, of resilience,” Budweiser’s Vice President of Marketing, Daniel Blake, told USA TODAY Sports. “We felt they were the perfect metaphor to tell this broader story, this comeback story.”
He continued, “For us to come back, with a symbol of America but also a story of injury, the road to recovery and ultimately, this triumph, I think is a really important message for the country to hear right now and one that really, only Budweiser can tell in this way.”
He predicts viewers will receive a positive response from viewers.
“It’s going to mean something, kind of deep in their core, so universal for the country to have that sentiment,” Blake said. “That down never means out, that you can always bounce back from injury if you put in hard work and have the support of your community. For a legacy brand like Budweiser, this stage is especially important to be able to promote a message like that.”
Budweiser Forwent a Super Bowl LV Commercial & Donated the Funds
This year’s message comes a year after Budweiser forwent a Super Bowl LV commercial, a first in 37 years.
In a press release, the company announced it would reallocate “the media investment to help support recovery in the on-premise through COVID-19 vaccine awareness and education throughout the year.”
According to USA Today, last year’s spot would have cost $5.5 million while this year’s spot increased to $6.5 million. While the cost alone cannot prove America’s rebounding, Budweiser is among other “legacy brands” releasing commercials this year.
“People in America want to hear that (resilience) message,” Blake explained to USA Today Sports. “They want to have something that they feel pride in. And for a brand that is synonymous with the country like Budweiser is, it’s great to be able to promote that message and it’s a great opportunity to bring people together.”
He told the publication, “It should ultimately be a really unifying message that everyone can come together and feel pride that as Americans, we always bounce back.”