Say What You Will, I Thought the Budweiser 9/11 Commercial Was Well Done.

There was some discussion last night on Facebook about the Budweiser 9/11 advertisement that aired a couple of times during yesterday’s football games.  I think it is pretty clear that we are no fan of big beer around these parts.  I’d rather drink water than some of the swill that many of the big beer companies put out.  They are often the brunt of criticism for their insipid advertising, and the way in which they have, through less than scrupulous means, made light american lager the beverage that comes to mind when 95% of Americans think of beer.  That said, when they do something right, I think we ought to take notice and give credit where it is due.

Yesterday 9/11/11 was perhaps one of the hardest days in our nation’s history to be in advertising, a comedian, or a comic writer.  This 10th anniversary of the most brutal attack on American soil made everyone reflect and remember.  They weren’t happy memories.  The day the towers fell is indelibly etched into the gray matter of the nation and all of us will forever remember where we were, and what we were doing at the moment of the attack.  It was a difficult thing to do from an advertising perspective to pay homage to our fallen in a way that didn’t seem like pandering or somehow using this black time in our nation’s history for a good bit of product placement.

Many chose to ignore it completely, like the dumbass that leaves his incredibly beautiful girl friend at home to take the “Bar Exam”, give me a break!   Others like the comics in the Sunday paper just chose to be sappy and completely un”funny.”  But Budweiser took this as an opportunity and a challenge to pay respect in an appropriate and atypical way.  They acknowledged the events of that day and managed to give us a minute of respect and peace, and produced an ad that neither offended nor angered.

There was little use of their logo, and only a hint of advertising milieu.

I enjoyed the ad, and if you didn’t see it, here it is for you to view and make your own opinion.  Let me know what you think.


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29 Comments on “Say What You Will, I Thought the Budweiser 9/11 Commercial Was Well Done.”

  1. September 12, 2011 at 11:01 am #

    It’ actually a rehash of an old commercial, one they ran only once after 9/11. I actually saw it live when it aired and remembered it when they showed it again last night.

    it’s exactly the same as last time, except this rendition has the Freedom Tower added to the skyline the horses are bowing to.

    The commercial you have above is the original – there’s no tower in the last shot.

    In other words – dumbass!! 🙂

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 11:09 am #

      Good catch Jim! I updated with the correct version of the commercial. Everything else still stands with what I think, but the Dumbass part has been corrected. 🙂

      • September 12, 2011 at 11:20 am #

        Oh, I wouldn’t say the dumbass thing is ANYWHERE CLOSE to corrected! 😉

        • Don
          September 12, 2011 at 11:21 am #


  2. September 12, 2011 at 11:03 am #

    My reaction? I threw up in my mouth a little.

    What about that ad was “atypical?” How was the message any different than anything else that was said yesterday concerning 9/11? It was still an advertisement pandering to a sappy sentiment in the name of selling more beer. You forget that the ad originally aired shortly after 9/11 and was generally considered a tasteless attempt at capitalizing on a tragedy to sell product.

    I won’t get into all the politics of 9/11 as that’s a pretty loaded subject in itself, but I don’t need a recycled Budweiser commercial to appropriately remember what happened ten years ago.

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 11:16 am #

      I disagree. I think that it was tremendously “atypical” of their usual dumb jock guy that would rather drink tasteless crap than have sex with his hot girlfriend. I don’t forget that the ad originally aired post 9/11, and they spent millions on an ad they aired once. They updated it for this occasion, and I thought it was equally respectful and was not used to sell more beer. I would be hard pressed to think that one person saw that ad and said I’m gonna go buy a case of Bud because I liked that commercial. I also disagree at your characterization of the first add being “generally considered in poor taste”, on the contrary I think most people think like I do that it was an appropriate response to an American tragedy. clearly we aren’t going to resolve all the bad feelings of the day, but a simple acknowledgement of it in a generally tasteful way was appreciated by me.

      • September 12, 2011 at 11:21 am #

        I like pretty horses…

        • Don
          September 12, 2011 at 11:22 am #

          me too…

      • September 12, 2011 at 11:33 am #

        Sure, it was atypical of a Budweiser ad, but it was not an atypical sentiment toward 9/11. Lost is the fact that we fought two wars we can’t afford and the numerous lives (American, Iraqi, Afghan, etc.) that were lost in events spread out over the last decade in connection to 9/11. Have we learned anything from never forgetting? Budweiser’s typical take on the anniversary suggests no, at least not at ABI.

        And the pour taste/slash profiting over tragedy argument…

        • September 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

          I’m waiting for Don to say that your link is to Euro News and their women have hairy armpits so we shouldn’t listen to them…

        • Don
          September 12, 2011 at 11:53 am #

          I guess Zac, we’re gonna have to agree to disagree, again. Whether you think it is inappropriate or not, Budweiser didn’t prompt our response to the attacks, so you get a little far afield of the topic when you bring up our response as a government. As for the advertising that is exploitative, yeah, its in bad taste.

        • September 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

          Agree to disagree. That may have to be the basis of our relationship, Don. That said, I’m sure we’d have many a good session if we lived in the same place. And Jim, I admittedly couldn’t resist posting that link when I saw it was Euro News. It was a little baiting on my part, but Don decided to take the high road.

        • Don
          September 12, 2011 at 12:05 pm #

          Yeah Jim, The HIGH ROAD…HIGHER THAN YOURS!! 😛

        • Don
          September 12, 2011 at 12:07 pm #

          Zac, I have no doubt that if we lived in the same city we would be great friends. And the fact that it was Euro News didn’t escape me either. 😉

        • September 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

          I hate it when he does that!

          Thankfully it doesn’t happen often. 🙂

  3. September 12, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I thought the State Farm commercial kicked it’s ass.

    I think using anthropomorphic horses to speak to this tragedy is rather predictable, uninspiring and bland. Probably an excellent metaphor for what’s in the can.

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 11:45 am #

      That was well done too, but I didn’t see it, and would have been appropriate if we were the Beer and Insurance Brother’s blog.

  4. sulane
    September 12, 2011 at 11:49 am #

    I would love to leave a reply. How could anyone not be moved by that commercial no matter what they think or the beer they like. It was an appropriate and beautiful tribute to the many that died that day. It is people like some of you that are the reason the tragedy happening (ugly Americans) in the first place. So selfish and cannot stand to be sentimental about anything. Those horses have more respect from me than anything people could do or say.

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 12:02 pm #

      Now, I don’t think we need to throw rocks at one another. There is plenty of room for differing opinions on this topic. But I agree with you that the commercial was very moving and respectful.

    • September 12, 2011 at 12:08 pm #

      I’ll admit that it actually choked me up a bit when those dumb horses all knelt, but I figured that has to do with the fact that I’m an old woman (a lesbian – I love the ladies!) trapped in the body of a ruggedly handsome gentleman. 🙂

  5. September 12, 2011 at 11:59 am #

    I to think, that the ad was indeed classy.

    And I have to disagree w/ Builder about Iraq. While the invasion of Afghanistan was indubitably a direct response to 9/11, Iraq was never about 9/11. In fact, the Iraq War strongly detracted from our efforts to beard Bin Laden and the Taliban in AfPakistan.

    What Iraq was about is not entirely clear–not even to those who started it. We heard many– and sequential–stories about why we went in, each replaced by the next as it was found to be false.

    I think the biggest culprit was hubris, the same kind of hubris being displayed by so many of our elected representatives today (both parties), as they continue to try to hold America’s economy and future hostage in the name of short-sighted, unpopular and partisan goals.

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 12:03 pm #

      Well said Massugu.

    • September 12, 2011 at 12:12 pm #

      Aw hell, not to get political (because I’m bad at it) but 9/11 did cause the war in Iraq, or at least was used as an excuse for us to go in. Remember all that “weapons of mass destruction” stuff and the false links between Iraq and Al Qaeda propagated by the Bush administration?

      No 9/11, no whipped up American people looking for a fight, no Iraq war. The hawks were just waiting for their chance and took full advantage.

      /end all political discussions here forever

      • September 12, 2011 at 2:41 pm #

        Thanks, Jim. I didn’t want to go there because we all know where this ends.

      • September 12, 2011 at 9:53 pm #

        The key word there Jim is excuse. It wasn’t real, just as none of the other excuses were real. And when our highly paid intelligence establishment told the administration that it wasn’t real, said administration responded by building their own independent “intelligence” organization out of whole cloth to tell them what they wanted to hear. But you’re right in that it did whip up the American people to support an action that simply wasn’t justified.

        As for oil, yeah it was probably one driver–but who gave us the right to claim Iraq’s oil anyway? And payback? Yeah that played a part too. But none other than Dick Cheney, in his book written post-Iraq War Part 1 (aka Desert Storm), said that going all the way to Baghdad would have been a mistake.

        But mostly its big-money chicken hawks picking a fight that others have to pay for–in blood. Its all hubris, the “my shit don’t stink” kind of hubris that one has come to expect from our fearless leaders in D.C.

  6. FatCatKC
    September 12, 2011 at 2:21 pm #

    The reason for invading Iraq was oil, plain and simple. Little Bush finished what Big Bush didn’t.

    • Don
      September 12, 2011 at 2:34 pm #

      Mmmm…maybe not.

  7. September 13, 2011 at 8:05 pm #

    Don, back to the commercial, I agree with you. Classy. Moving. And, even though I’m not an old lesbian, I’ll admit to the eyes watering a bit.



    […] at the great beer blog Beer and Whiskey Brothers seemed to like the commercial, noting that “[A-B]acknowledged the events of that day and […]

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