This year’s Budweiser Super Bowl commercial speaks to an issue that definitely hits home: immigration. The ad takes viewers back to 1857, when the brand’s co-founder Adolphus Busch emigrated from Germany to St. Louis, Missouri, in search of a better life.
In a time when our nation is engaged in a heated political debate over immigration and refugee rights, the 60-second spot may be seen as a political statement. However, Anheuser-Busch InBev‘s VP for Budweiser, Ricardo Marques, maintains that the focus of the ad is simply to tell a story of hard work and the pursuit of dreams against tough odds.
“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,” Marques said in a press release.
“When Budweiser told us they wanted to celebrate those who embody the American spirit, we realized the ultimate story lived within their own brand history,” said Anomaly Global Chief Creative Officer Mike Byrne. “Adolphus Busch is the hero of the Anheuser-Busch American dream story, which makes him the perfect protagonist.”
Directed by Chris Sargent, the ad — titled “Born the Hard Way”— was shot in New Orleans. It traces Mr. Busch’s journey as he arrives in the United States and shows some of the difficulties he faced in this country. “You are not wanted here. Go back home,” one man yells in a scene. He survives a boat fire and slogs through the mud as he enters St. Louis. At the end, he is shown having a beer with Anheuser-Busch co-founder Eberhard Anheuser as he shares with him notes for how to create Budweiser.
The ad ends with this statement: “When nothing stops your dream, this is the beer we drink.” Watch below.