Eternals’ director Chloé Zhao captures journey of injured Budweiser Clydesdale

(Courtesy Anheuser-Busch)

After sitting out last year’s Super Bowl for the first time in 37 years to support COVID-19 vaccine awareness, Budweiser is back in the game with a commercial spotlighting a beloved Budweiser Clydesdale’s path to recovery, symbolizing the resiliency that the people of America continue to show through difficult times.

The spot, entitled “A Clydesdale’s Journey,” directed by Academy Award-winner Chloé Zhao (Nomadland, Marvel’s Eternals), follows a Clydesdale fighting through setbacks and overcoming challenges, mirroring the character of the country. While America has faced numerous hurdles throughout its history, the steadfastness of the American spirit continues to propel the country to recover from hardship, stronger than ever.

“As America’s beer, we wanted to come back to the Super Bowl with a message of strength and resilience,” said Daniel Blake, Group VP of Marketing, Budweiser & Value at Anheuser-Busch. “Budweiser has a history of supporting the country through difficult times and reminding communities across America that better days are ahead. With this Super Bowl spot, our goal was to highlight the perseverance and determination of the country and depict that by coming together, we can grow and move forward stronger than before.”

The Spot

Created by VaynerMedia and set to an arrangement of Gary Clark Jr.’s live rendition of the national anthem and other pieces of his work, is a story of resilience that takes place in the American west. Though the Clydesdale faces injury, the horse’s own determination and the bond it shares with a dog, stableman and vet, see it through a tough road of recovery.

The Budweiser spot, depicted through Zhao’s unique and deeply human lens, includes messages of resilience, togetherness and hope and is a story that anyone can see themselves reflected in. The commercial culminates with a message stating, “Down Never Means Out,” reminding viewers that no matter what they face, anything is surmountable with perseverance. Watch below:

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“We all fall down in life and the journey to healing is often painful, long and solitary,” said Zhao, Academy Award-winning director. “To tell a story of perseverance, hope and friendship through the lens of the beloved Clydesdales really resonated with me.”

The stars of the commercial, the Budweiser Clydesdales, have been involved in Anheuser-Busch’s television ads since the 1950s, and made their first appearance in the Super Bowl in 1975. The Budweiser Clydesdales are a staple of Anheuser-Busch’s longstanding heritage and a symbol of American tradition. 

The Los Angeles Rams welcome the Cincinnati Bengals to SoFi Stadium for Super Bowl LVI on Sunday, February 13. The game will air on NBC and stream on Peacock.

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