Though it only aired once during Super Bowl XXXVI on February 3, 2002, this Budweiser commercial has never been forgotten for its beautiful statement about patriotism and unity in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11th.
Who better to make that statement than true American icons, the Budweiser Clydesdales? Bob Lachky, former executive vice president of Anheuser-Busch Global Creative, said in an interview with Fox 5 that when Anheuser-Busch's creative team came up with the concept, they had a lot of red tape to get through before they could actually make the commercial.
Since they wanted actually to film in New York City, they had to get approval from members of Congress, the advertising community, and New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
"We had a helicopter going over the Brooklyn Bridge. Mayor Giuliani let us into the city - the only film company of any sort right after 9-11," Lachky said. "To actually come into air space with our helicopter to film the Clydesdale... the hitch coming into Battery Park and it was amazing... just amazing."
The beer company may have been hesitant about the timing of this commercial with it being so close to the terror attacks. Still, the Budweiser 9/11 commercial is one of their most memorable and the first that addressed a breaking news topic.
The original commercial can be viewed on YouTube, but Budweiser did air an updated version of the commercial with the iconic Clydesdales for the 10th anniversary of the attacks on September 11, 2011.
Many viewers were moved by the fact that the commercial is actually less a commercial and more a tribute to the fallen of the September 11th attacks and a nation in healing. In fact, the company's logo isn't even shown until the very end.
Though the entire video is inspirational, the most moving moment is when the hitch makes its way from St. Louis to its destination, and you see the Manhattan skyline, sans the Twin Towers. Then, just when you think it can't get any more emotional, the famous Clydesdale horses slowly draw their hooves back and sink into a breathtaking bow. No matter how complex the commercial was to film, the finished product was clearly worth all the obstacles.
These draft horses are known as gentle giants and wonderful American symbols. Even though this commercial only aired once, we will never forget that tragic day, and this bow at the end is the most beautiful tribute.
The brewing company may have moved mountains to get this super bowl ad produced, but we are so glad they did.
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