The biggest day of the year for many sports fans takes place this Sunday, with the kick off to the 2017 Super Bowl, which also marks the biggest day of the year for advertisers. One company that is giving fans an early look at their 2017 ad is Anheuser Busch and its arrival is, in a word, timely.
Titled ‘Born The Hard Way,’ possibly a nod to this year’s halftime performer Lady Gaga and her song ‘Born This Way,’ or simply just a coincidence, the ad follow’s founder Adolphus Busch on his journey from Germany to America in 1857. In the cinematic ad, the young Busch is berated in the streets upon arriving in the US, being told, “You’re not wanted here! Go back home!” before he eventually settles in St. Louis and meets co-founder Eberhard Anheuser.
The immigration-centric ad arrives as the US is in the midst of being divided by President Trump’s immigration ban, which targets Muslims. Although the ad was filmed in New Orleans prior to Trump’s recent ban, its pro-immigrant message could not have been timed more perfectly.
The press release accompanying the new ad includes a comment from the company’s VP Ricardo Marques, who says “This commercial shows the start of Budweiser’s journey, and while it is set in the 1800’s, it’s a story we believe will resonate with today’s entrepreneurial generation — those who continue to strive for their dreams.” Even with the ad’s filming taking place before the recent ban though, ‘Born The Hard Way’ will undoubtedly divide many beer drinkers in the US, with viewers perhaps assuming a political motivation behind the message.
Last year, Anheuser Busch implemented a patriotic “America Is In Your Hands” campaign that ran from May to November 2016 to coincide with the presidential election. Donald Trump, then the Republican presidential candidate, took credit as the inspiration for the campaign, seeing it as an alignment with his “Make America Great Again” slogan.
We’ll have to wait and see whether the President has time to jump on his Twitter account and take credit for this new ad as well.