Steel yourself: Budweiser isn't bringing the Clydesdales to Super Bowl LII.
After 17 years in the game, the popular mascots will be sidelined from Bud's Super Bowl advertising for a spot promoting Anheuser-Busch's philanthropic water giveaway program.
In honor of the animals' long Super Bowl run, here's a look at some of the most memorable Super Bowl commercials featuring the Clydesdales culled from Ad Age's extensive Super Bowl archive.
Budweiser uses the Clydesdales to honor the men and women who died in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. The ad, by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos, shows the Clydesdales kneeling in front of the altered Manhattan skyline. (Monster.com's commercial, "Thank You, America" starring Rudy Giuliani, was the other ad in the game to acknowledge Sept. 11.)
The bond between a horse and his trainer transcends time and distance in this spot by Anomaly: Three years after a trainer gives away his horse to become a Budweiser Clydesdale, their unexpected reunion is surprisingly moving. (Props to the music supervisor.)
"Lost Dog," 2015
Cue the tears. The horses bail out a lost puppy confronting a wolf. According to the brand, seven Clydesdales underwent training for three months to fine-tune their skills for the ad, another Anomaly gem.
"Puppy Love," 2014
You can't beat a friendship between a puppy and a horse, at least on Super Bowl Sunday. In the spot, the puppy is being given up for adoption, but the animals have other ideas. The ad (yes, by Anomaly) was the single most-liked Super Bowl spot from 2011 through 2015, according to Ace Metrix research.
"American Dream," 2006