As of 2014, there were more than 130 million individuals in the United States who consumed alcohol on a daily basis. While this number may have grown since then, Budweiser has become a relevant presence in both the alcohol and advertising worlds.
Budweiser’s parent brand, Anheuser-Busch, is making a stand against President Trump’s immigration ban, and they are doing it in front of an audience with whom they are quite comfortable — Super Bowl fans.
Known for their Americana-themed commercials that boast friendly Clydesdales and even cuter dalmatians, their most recent installment at Super Bowl 51 was quite a bit different, and it packed a punch.
Titled “Born the Hard Way,” their commercial showed the rough and tumultuous journey of Adolphus Busch emigrating from Germany to the United States in 1857. It is safe to say Busch didn’t have an easy time — his trip was marked by a rough trans-Atlantic journey and Americans shouting at him to go back to Germany as soon as he stepped off the boat. However, his dream of creating a brewery kept propelling him forward, and when he ended up in St. Louis, he soon met Eberhard Anheuser and the dynamic partnership was made.
This advertisement, while only one minute long, does a great job of commenting on Trump’s ban, which prohibits any immigration to the United States from seven Muslim countries in both the Middle East and Africa for at least 90 days. The underlying theme is that immigrants are worthy, intelligent, and welcome in the United States. According to Budweiser, America itself was founded on the backs of immigrants, and fantastic, iconic brands have been developed by those allowed into the country in search of a better life.
To really propel their message forward, Anheuser-Busch paid for three minutes and thirty seconds of advertising time, making them the largest advertiser for the entire Super Bowl.
And it appears to have worked. “Born the Hard Way” was the most watched Super Bowl ad online, with more than 21 million views not even 24 hours after the game.