By Mae Anderson, New York
Each year Super Bowl ads offer a snapshot of what’s going on in the culture.
But this year’s Budweiser ad, released this week, featuring an immigrant’s travel to the US became suddenly more topical than Anheuser-Busch executives were probably expecting, released days after President Donald Trump’s executive order on Friday temporarily banning refugees and nearly all citizens from seven Muslim-majority countries.
The 60-second ad called ‘Born the Hard Way’, shows Anheuser-Busch co-founder Adolphus Busch travelling by boat from Germany to the US in 1850s. He goes through travails including jumping off a burning boat and catching a glimpse of Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales mascots, before meeting fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser. “When nothing stops your dream, this is the beer we drink,” the copy reads.
Ricardo Marques, vice-president of Budweiser, said in a statement that the company has been working on the ad since May.
“The powerful thing about the story is the fact that it’s a human story and the human dream resonating,” he said.
“Of course it would be foolish to think the current context is not putting additional eyeballs (on the ad), but that was absolutely not the intent and not what makes the spot as special as it is.”
He said Budweiser as a beer brand is inherently bipartisan. “On Super Bowl Sunday, we want to bring people together in bars across the nation — that’s who we are.”
Still, it’s hard to ignore the connection, said Jeanine Poggi, media reporter for Advertising Age.
The Super Bowl, contested by the New England Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons, takes place at Houston’s NRG Stadium on Sunday.