Budweiser's puppy returns to lure drinkers back into bars

Brand repurposes Super Bowl ads in new spot backed by Queen tune

Published On
Jun 24, 2020

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Budweiser is bringing its puppy back as it tries to lure drinkers back to bars. The pooch, which last appeared in a 2015 Super Bowl ad, stars alongside the brand’s Clydesdales in an ad backed by Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now.” 

The spot by Anomaly Canada does not include new footage because Anheuser-Busch InBev, like most marketers, remains hampered by social distancing regulations that have stymied ad shoots. Instead, Bud pulled together scenes from five previously run ads, including Super Bowl ads from 2013 and 2015 directed by Jake Scott that starred a puppy. 

The ad also marks a return of Anomaly, of sorts: The agency, which created the puppy Super Bowl ads, has not been heavily involved with Bud in the U.S. in recent years after the brewer moved to an agency jump-ball approach, mostly involving David and VaynerMedia. Anomaly has continued to do global work for the brand, including in Canada and China.

The new ad, called “Reunited with Buds,” shows a puppy and a Clydesdale running toward each other, plus scenes of a bar preparing to re-open. It ends with the message, “We can’t wait to see our buds. But when we do, let’s do it safely.”

“The Clydesdales are a symbol of strength and are known to bring people joy and familiarity during both happy and trying times. We wanted to give people something to smile about while reminding them to exercise extra precaution and follow safety measures as the nation slowly reopens,”  Monica Rustgi, VP of marketing for Budweiser, said in a statement.

The ad will run in the U.S. with paid support on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram, according to a Budweiser spokeswoman. She was not able to confirm how long the Facebook ad will run. Civil rights organizations are calling on advertisers to boycott Facebook in July in a move aimed at forcing the social media giant to make changes to how it handles hate speech and misinformation. Earlier this week, a spokeswoman for the brewer declined to comment on whether it would participate in the boycott.

Ben & Jerry's and Eddie Bauer are the latest brands to join the boycott.