On the 19th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks, an old Budweiser commercial paying tribute to the victims has been revived. But not by the company, Anheuser-Busch, which aired the ad just once.
The emotional advertisement – which aired months after the national tragedy, during the 2002 Super Bowl that February – Budweiser Clydesdells left their Missouri stable and made the trek to New York City. The Statue of Liberty stood tall in the backdrop, bending horses in Battery Park, amidst the city’s skyline, passing near iconic cities including the Brooklyn Bridge.
There were no words for the advertisement, just Sober Music, titled “Cladesdale Respect”. And the company’s logo did not appear until the very end.
Anheuser-Busch did not immediately respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment, but the company’s creative team has said that the advertisement was made only two months after the attacks, when the city was still on the sidelines. It required approval from many in that unprecedented time, including members of Congress, the advertising community, and then NYC Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“We did filming in New York City,” said Bob Lachki, former executive vice president of AB Global Creative. We had a helicopter going over the Brooklyn Bridge. Mayor Giuliani asked us to come to the city. Any kind of right after 9/11 actually came into the air space with our helicopter to film the hitch at Clydesdales, Battery Park and it was amazing… just amazing. “
He called the NYPD “very, very nervous about everything going on in the city at the time”.
As for bending the horses, Jeff Snapper, GM of Clydesdale Operations, said, “It wasn’t trick TV. They were trained to do so. The horses spent 45 days with our trainer. “
Anheuser-Busch spokesman told Snopes in 2007 that when the commercial bus aired once – and remained on the company’s website for a year in tribute – he received “positive feedback” for it after a long time. “Asheyer-Busch is proud to be an American beer company and we wanted to express ourselves, honoring those affected by the events of September 11. We are glad that Budweiser Clydeslad was able to deliver our emotions in a way that has resonated with other Americans. “
In 2011, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, the company released an updated version of the commercial. At the end of that edition, there was a black screen with the words, “We’ll never forget.”