Budweiser - Brewed the Hard Way

February 01, 2015 | 1:00

Everyone loves cute animals in advertising, including Budweiser's puppy, but a puppy wouldn't have made the hard sale like Anomaly's "Brewed the Hard Way," a bit of chest-thumping alpha aggression from the King of Beers.

"Let them sip their pumpkin peach ale," says the ad, squarely targeting the fast-growing micro-brews competing for beer drinkers in 2015. Budweiser is a "macro beer." 

While those lines got attention, Budweiser VP Brian Perkins told Ad Age after the game that the intent was not to criticize competitors or craft beer in general. Indeed, Bud-owner A-B InBev owns several craft breweries itself -- including Goose Island -- and also has jumped on the fruity beer craze with its Bud Light Ritas franchise.

"This is not an attack on craft beer this is not an attack on competition," Perkins said. "The only other beer that we reference in the spot is a fabricated, ludicrous flavor combination of pumpkin peach ale."

The "macro beer" phrase is an attempt to reframe the "prevailing discourse in a lot of industries, and certainly in beer, that small must be good and big must be bad," he added. "I don't think anyone has really talked about macro beer before with pride." Bud, he said, wants to own that phrase.

All the same, craft breweries lashed back with rejoinder videos (see Ninkasi Brewing's "Brewed the Easy Way?") and pumpkin peach ales.

The commercial also resurrected the old "This Bud's For You" tagline, little used since the late 1970s and officially supplanted by a succession of other slogans starting with the final shot of "Bud Bowl II" in 1990. The revived theme anchored a new campaign to replace "Grab Some Buds."

Bud and Anomaly reprised the approach in Super Bowl 50 the following year with "Not Backing Down."

Director: Max Malkin. Production company: Prettybird. Executive producer: Ali Brown. Head of production: Tracy Hauser. Line producer: Leslie Vaughn. Production designer: Jason Hamilton.

Creative director: Christine Gignac. Producer: Winslow Dennis.

Editorial: Union Editorial. Editor: Susan Motamed. Post production: The Mill. VFX producer: Eliana Carranza-Pitcher. 2D lead artists: Emily Bloom, Jamin Clutcher. Colorist: Mikey Rossiter. Titles: Sarofsky.

Music: Squeak E. Clean. Composer: Harry Frost. Creative director: Justin Hori. Executive producer: Carol Dunn. Producer: Chris Shaw.

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  • BrandBudweiser
  • Year2015
  • AgencyAnomaly
  • Superbowl #XLIX
  • Quarter airedQ3