It’s one of the most powerful television commercials ever.
And it only aired once.
Five months after the attacks on 9/11, Budweiser aired a touching ad during the Super Bowl featuring the iconic Clydesdales walking across the Brooklyn Bridge and through the streets of Manhattan before kneeling in front of the New York City skyline to pay tribute to those who lost their life on that terrible day.
The original ad only aired that one time, during Super Bowl XXXVI between the St. Louis Rams and the New England Patriots.
And it took a monumental effort to pull off in the wake of the terrorist attacks.
“We filmed in New York City. We had a helicopter going over the Brooklyn Bridge. Mayor Giuliani let us into the city.
The only film company of any sort right after 9-11 to actually come into air space with our helicopter to film the Clydesdale the hitch coming into Battery Park and it was amazing…just amazing.”
In 2011, Budweiser updated the ad to honor the 10th anniversary of 9/11 – again, airing the spot only one time, during the Super Bowl.
And last year, the updated the powerfully simple tribute to mark the 20th anniversary.
The latest edition of the ad is now set in the evening, and the new One World Trade Center tower has been added to the New York skyline – along with the annual Tribute In Light, which features spotlights arranged in two columns to represent the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The 20th anniversary edition of the ad actually aired twice last year: Once during the Air Force vs. Navy football game, and once during the Yankees vs. Mets game.
Daniel Blake, a VP of Marketing at Anheuser Busch, said that by releasing the ad only sparingly, Budweiser is able to preserve the meaning of the tribute and honor those who were lost that day:
“By releasing the film sparingly, we preserve the significance of the day and really pay the respect that those that were lost deserve.”