Budweiser Born the Hard Way

Anheuser Busch has launched Budweiser Born The Hard Way, a Super Bowl commercial featuring co-founder Adolphus Busch’s experience as an immigrant arriving in the United States in 1857. The commercial begins in a bar with the comment, “You don’t look like you’re from around here”. We’re shown Busch (Sam Schweikert) travelling by ship from Hamburg to New Orleans, trekking inland on the Mississippi River to St Louis, braving storms, injury, ship fire, all the while reflecting on his strategies to achieve his ambition to brew beer. As an immigrant he encounters a mixture of warm welcome and bristly rejection, finally connecting with fellow immigrant Eberhard Anheuser over a beer. The commercial provides a glimpse of two Clydesdales, the horses that would one day be the Anheuser Busch mascots.

Budweiser Born the Hard Way - Adolphus Busch

Budweiser believes freedom and the pursuit of the American dream are nothing without ambition, something the brand has believed throughout its 141-year history directly dating back to company co-founder Adolphus Busch. The visceral piece of cinematography brings viewers along for the journey as Adolphus Busch sets out to defeat the odds by travelling to America eventually destined to become the largest brewer in the world. The story is one of commitment, passion and never giving up or backing down.

“This story celebrates Adolphus Busch’s American dream and the bold vision to brew the best beer in the world,” said Peter Kraemer, Budweiser’s fifth generation master brewer. “While everyone knows Budweiser, they don’t necessarily know our story and how we came to be brewed the hard way.”

Added Vice President of Budweiser, Ricardo Marques, “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 strive for their dreams.”

Budweiser Born the Hard Way - Adolphus Busch and Eberhard Anheuser
Budweiser Born the Hard Way - Adolphus Busch
Budweiser Born the Hard Way book

Super Bowl LI marks the 28th year that Budweiser has been the exclusive beer category advertiser of the Super Bowl and Anheuser Busch’s 42nd year advertising in the game.

“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.”

Building on previous campaigns, Budweiser is continuing to hone its bold tone and rightful role in culture, tapping Super Bowl LI as the official kick-off of its year-long ambition-inspired platform. Throughout 2017, Budweiser will celebrate those who live life on their own terms and never back down.

“Adolphus would be proud to know we are continuing to celebrate his legacy and his relentless pursuit to create the most iconic beer brand in the world,” said Steven Busch great-great-grandson of founder, Adolphus Busch. “It’s an honour to follow in his footsteps in the beer business. He lived the American dream and his perseverance, hard work and unwavering commitment to quality laid the foundation for the success of Budweiser and this great company.”

“This campaign captures the true heritage of Budweiser and the man who started it all. Adolphus Busch was a visionary who had the courage to pursue his dream,” said August A. Busch III. “His story will resonate with consumers from all walks of life and provide a lasting point of connection to the brand. Great work by the Budweiser team.”

Budweiser Born the Hard Way Credits

The Budweiser Born the Hard Way commercial was developed at Anomaly by chief creative officer Mike Byrne, group creative director Scott Hayes, group strategy director Laura Rowan

Media was handled at MediaCom (media) and VaynerMedia (digital).

Filming was shot by director Chris Sargent via Anonymous Content with director of photography Jody Lee Lipes, head of production Kerry Haynie, executive producers Ayelet Weinerman and SueEllen Clair, line producer Alex Waite, lead makeup artist Ulla Gaudin.

Editor was Ross Birchall at Saints Editorial with executive producer Stephanie Hickman, and assistant editor Nancy Gidman-LaTorraca.

Post production was done at Artjail by creative director Steve Mottershead, head of production John Skeffington, Flame artists John Geehreng, Margolit Steiner, Chris Memoli, and senior producer Mike Tockman.

Colourist was Tom Poole at Company 3.

  • Emily Regotti

    Budweiser strays away from their typical Clydesdale
    commercial and focuses on an advertisement about an immigrant’s experience
    arriving in the United States. I thought the “Born the Hard Way” commercial was
    very inspiring because it embodies the ideals of the American Dream and how
    everyone has an ambition they wish to accomplish. The German immigrant named Adolphus Busch experiences both rejection and acceptance throughout his travels before
    he meets another immigrant Eberhard Anheuser. The two men connect over a beer and
    soon develop their worldwide brand Anheuser-Busch; soon creating the beer
    Budweiser with the slogan, “when nothing stops your dream, this is the beer we
    drink”. Budweiser promotes pursuing your dreams with the passion and commitment
    to never give up. By using their brand history, they appeal to the audience’s American
    Dream as well as spirit by celebrating the people who never back down. This
    commercial is a great way to introduce how Budweiser was created, so that the
    viewers achieve a better understanding of who they are as a brand. In my
    opinion, Budweiser shows that they accept everyone from different backgrounds,
    who have aspirations they wish to achieve.

    However, I think that Budweiser may be responding to our
    current political immigration situation. Do you think that this commercial is
    an anti-Trump campaign? In my opinion, I think that Budweiser is responding to
    the audience’s feelings towards immigration, and how the United States was
    built upon a foundation of immigration. The “Born the Hard Way” campaign captures
    the courage and what it takes to pursue the American Dream by focusing on the immigrant’s perseverance to success. This commercial creates a long-lasting connection to
    the brand, where people will have a more emotional connection to compared to
    the typical campaign using the Clydesdales. Once again, using emotional appeals
    makes a brand more successful because the audience is able to easily connect to
    the message.