Budweiser’s Super Bowl commercial for 2017 focuses on founder Adolphus Busch’s immigration to America, where he met co-founder Eberhard Anheuser.


The ad is particularly topical today, as decisions about immigration and refugees are being made in Washington and the issues are very much in the public eye. In the 60-second spot, titled “Born the Hard Way,” we follow Busch from Germany to St. Louis.

“You don’t look like you’re from around here,” it begins, before Busch looks into the camera and we are transported to the memory of his tumultuous trek across the Atlantic. “Why leave Germany?” he is asked on his way. “I want to brew a beer,” he tells.

Glares and harsh words are uttered to him by Americans when he reaches land. “You’re not wanted here! Go back home!” When he finally makes it to middle America, a man says, “Welcome to St. Louis, son.”

At the original bar where the commercial starts, the man who spoke to him orders him a beer. “Thank you,” he responds. “But next time, this is the beer we drink,” he says as he shows the drawing he’s been working on during his whole journey. The man puts out his hand to shake. “Eberhard Anheuser.”

“Adolphus Busch.” The copy reads, “When nothing stops your dream, this is the beer we drink.”

“The powerful thing about the story is the fact that it’s a human story and the human dream resonating,” said Ricardo Marques, the vice president of Budweiser. “Of course it would be foolish to think the current context is not putting additional eyeballs (on the ad), but that was absolutely the not the intent and not what makes the spot as special as it is.” Marques added that the company stands as bipartisan. “On Super Bowl Sunday, we want to bring people together in bars across the nation – that’s who we are.”

Jeanine Poggi, on the other hand, adds that it will be hard for viewers to ignore the political connection: “Come Super Bowl, it’s probably going to be one of the more talked-about ads given the debate over refugee rights, regardless of Budweiser’s attempt never to respond to any sort of political climate.”

The Super Bowl will take place in Houston on Sunday, Feb. 5 between the Atlanta Falcons and the New England Patriots.

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