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Budweiser Clydesdales spread Christmas joy in classic commercial
These magnificent horses always know how to spread joy.
Elijah Chan
12.23.21

Claiming that Budweiser is the best beer can turn into a long argument.

But what we can definitely agree on is that they’re one of the companies with the most memorable advertisements. While their commercials are not even related to beers, their heartwarming narratives can make the brand stick.

Flickr - muffinman71xx
Source:
Flickr - muffinman71xx

Since their conception in 1933, Budweiser’s Clydesdale team has been the most iconic face of the brand. But how did they make it to the advertisement team in the first place?

Their story started at the end of Prohibition.

To celebrate the repeal of the anti-liquor law that ushered the moonshine era, August A. Busch, Jr. and Adolphus Busch III gifted their father August A. Busch, Sr. with six Clydesdales.

Flickr - Rich Moffitt
Source:
Flickr - Rich Moffitt

The brewery quickly realized the marketing potential of the horses. They ordered another hitch of six that they can use to show off the brand. They paraded the horses all the way to the Empire State building where a crowd watched the spectacle.

It was the first but definitely not the last time they’ll be used for advertising.

Fast forward to the current era, the Clydesdales team is used in town events. They perform various tricks with the wagon, often showing off their agility and maneuverability.

YouTube Screenshot - irishradio
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - irishradio

But more than that, this team of horses become recognizable even to the younger generation. The reason for their overwhelming star power? Superbowl ads.

Who can miss the majestic act of these horses on TV?

Remember that commercial where a rancher raised a Clydesdale until the team took the horse in? And their heartwarming reunion in the middle of an intersection while the hit “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac was playing?


YouTube Screenshot - irishradio
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - irishradio

How about when a Clydesdale just can’t make the cut and his dog best friend trained him Rocky Balboa style?

Or that adorable story of a puppy who grew up with Clydesdales but lost his way home? It ended with a hundred-mile journey and a majestic charge against a wolf.

But none of you ever forgot the one they launched in 1987.

The commercial opens with a postcard greeting from the brewery: “Holiday Greetings from Budweiser.” Then it’s followed by solemn but jolly caroling.


YouTube Screenshot - irishradio
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - irishradio

Kids from the era can remember this commercial while their parents were busy preparing a feast. We bet that some of them can still hum the hymn.

Then, the commercial further shows images related to the season.

The world-famous Clydesdales were shown hauling something else other than beer – a Christmas tree. They then paraded to town like they always did, showing how other people are feeling the season.


YouTube Screenshot - irishradio
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - irishradio

They passed by a couple out in the snow bearing gifts. They showed an onlooker catching a glimpse of the parade from their snow-stained window.

The postcard-style commercial has nothing to do about beer but it definitely made the brand much more memorable. The catchy tune accompanied by images of snow and the sound of sleigh bells really brought in the Christmas spirit.


YouTube Screenshot - irishradio
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - irishradio

The ad definitely hit a spot with one commenter saying: “This will always remind me of Christmas in the late 80s at my grandparents’ house.”

Watch the 1987 commercial that became an unforgettable moment for the adults of today.

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By Elijah Chan
hi@sbly.com
Elijah Chan is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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