America/Clydesdale Love Affair
What’s happening with the disappearing Clydesdales? Let’s take a trip back in the history of the beloved American icon, the Budweiser Clydesdale horses.
The American love affair with Budweiser Clydesdale Horses began on April 7,1933. August A. Busch Sr. presented a gift to his father , August A. Busch Jr., in celebration of the repeal of Prohibition. Busch Sr. was told that his son had purchased him a new car, but instead, was greeted by a team of magnificent draft horses pulling a red, white and gold beer wagon. He must have been pleased with the gift because they went on to be used for his company advertising and became the symbol of America’s beer.
Rolling Out The Beer
The advertising and promotional appeal of the horses was immediately evident, and their first duty had them being shipped by rail to New York City, where they picked up two cases of Budweiser and took them to Al Smith, former Governor of New York and the man who was mostly responsible for the repeal of Prohibition. From there, they continued on a tour of New England, eventually delivering a case of beer to the President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. From that point on, Budweiser began rolling out the beer to all and sundry drinking age people.
Super Bowl XX 1986
In 1986, we viewed the first Super Bowl Budweiser ad with the Clydesdales. It was a hit and people began to look forward to the next Budweiser commercial. Many of them followed and every year we loved them, because they taught us something and proclaimed our pride in America and American beer. But more than that, the Clydesdales reached our hearts as no other ad did. The writers cleverly gave us, in each of them, reasons why we should love our country as well as drink Budweiser beer.
America Attacked in 2001
On September 11, 2001, America was attacked by terrorists who, with the help of airplanes, managed to kill over 3,000 innocent people, breaking the hearts of Americans everywhere. The Twin Towers in New York City were brought to the ground, no longer a part of a proud skyline. The tribute video below was shown only once in the Super Bowl of 2002 because Budweiser did not want to make money from it. It is still one of the most beloved of the Clydesdale ads.
Anheuser-Busch Bought By Belgium Company
In March of 2009, Americans were shocked that Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company is purchased by InBev, a Belgium company with sales in over 130 countries and operations in more than 30 countries. Budweiser products were sold for 52 Billion and two seats on its board. This means the company is now global; no longer America’s beer. But we didn’t expect many changes, figuring the ads would still represent American values, so it was okay. Little did we know…..
A Rude Awakening
We were in for a rude awakening. In 2010 InBev, Budweiser product drinkers were startled to learn that the company would no longer show the Clydesdales in Super Bowl ads, and this set off an uproar among loyal American people. Many said they would never drink a Budweiser beer again, a few said they’d still drink it, but they were clearly shocked and disheartened with the news. After receiving public feedback, InBev announced that they would continue the use of the Clydesdales and everyone was pleased. But in the succeeding years of Super Bowl Commercials, it was clear that they were phasing them out. There were only fleeting views of the horses, until finally in 2017 there were none. Instead InBev chose to show a controversial commercial about immigration. It was about how one of the parties to the making of beer came to America as an immigrant. Anheuser and Busch struck a deal to make beer. But what the ad DIDN’T point out was that the immigrant came here LEGALLY. And there were NO horses. The Clydesdales disappeared and will probably never be seen again. Even though the 2017 commercial may have told a dramatized story of the connection of the two men who created the company, and a brief glimpse of the horses, it didn’t stir the heart as the Clydesdales commercials did.
Many people each year looked forward to the Clydesdale commercials, for they always had heart and a message about love and kindness. Months after the Super Bowl few people could tell you anything about the other commercials, but almost to a person, they could relate the Clydesdales commercial. Because it’s memorable, we look forward to it each year. But the Clydesdales obviously are not part of the plan of the new company, so they’ve disappeared from the Super Bowl. Somehow, the current ads just don’t hold the same bright spot as they once did. InBev if you’re paying attention, WE WANT OUR CLYDESDALES BACK!
For more information about the Budweiser Clydesdales try this link: Clydesdales History
If you love the Clydesdales and want something as a memory of their time as the Budweiser horses, here are my suggestions: