After producing the most-shared ad of the 2013 Super Bowl, Budweiser will look to replicate the formula in two new ads at this year's game.
Resist, if you can, this new story about the friendship between a puppy and a horse.
The beer brand announced Wednesday that it will run two emotional ads featuring the Budweiser Clydesdale horses, which starred in last year's heartwarming "Brotherhood" ad.
Both of this year's ads will be created by Anomaly, the advertising agency behind "Brotherhood," which the viral video analytics firm Unruly says was shared (that is, passed on to others in social media) more than 2 million times.
This year's ad with the most potential to break the internet is "Puppy Love," a story about a 10-week-old puppy who becomes friends with the Clydesdales and ultimately earns a spot on their team despite the puppy's small stature. The actor Don Jeanes will reprise his role from "Brotherhood," in which he played a trainer who ultimately reunites with a horse with whom he'd shared a bond while working at the Warm Springs Ranch.
According to Unruly, "Brotherhood" succeeded because of the emotions of sadness it stirred when Jeanes was separated from his horse at the beginning of the ad and the intense feelings of happiness viewers felt when they shared an embrace at the ad's conclusion.
This year's spot could prove similarly evocative, with the added cuteness of a puppy thrown into the mix.
If so, Budweiser can count on its ad being seen by an audience significantly larger than the ~110 million people who will watch the game. The campaign's digital promotion will be carried out by the agency AKQA.
Budweiser's other ad, "Hero's Welcome," will focus on U.S. troops returning from overseas. One of the ads will be 30 seconds, while the other will be a minute long.
Despite its success at last year's game, Budweiser and its parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev have struggled in the U.S. as tastes have moved toward craft beers and liquor drinks. Between 1999 and 2012, Budweiser lost more than 4% of its market share and has since tried everything — from introducing premium brands like Budweiser Black Crown to toying with its can designs — to win back customers.
A-B InBev announced recently that it will replace U.S. marketing chief Paul Chibe with Canadian marketing chief Jorn Socquet after the Super Bowl. Chibe told Ad Age last week that he was confident in what Bud and Bud Light had planned for his final Super Bowl at the helm.
"I can tell you 1,000% I feel very good about what we have coming in the Super Bowl," he said. "I am very happy about where we are going to be."
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