Brands advertising during the 2002 Super Bowl had to wrestle with a difficult question. In the country’s biggest communal event since the September 11 terrorist attacks, should advertisers acknowledge the tragedy? Could they do so without cheapening it, or themselves? Budweiser answered both questions with this 60-second spot produced by Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in which the brand’s iconic Clydesdales paid homage to New York City.
Budweiser also paid its respects while creating the ad, seeking and receiving approval from members of Congress and the advertising industry as well as New York City Mayor (until Jan. 1, 2002) Rudy Giuliani. And the brand stayed humble even after the ad debuted. Instead of taking a victory lap and running the spot regularly, Budweiser only aired the entire ad that one time, with a condensed version that ran on the 10th anniversary of the attacks.
Monster.com was the only other advertiser in Super Bowl XXXVI to acknowledge the attacks ("Thank You, America") with a spot starring Giuliani.
Director: Zack Snyder. Production company: Believe Media.
Executive creative directors: Marty Donohue, Tim Foley. Copywriter: Eivind Ueland. Art director: Doug Gould. Producer: Bryan Sweeney.
AGENCY: Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos
QUARTER AIRED: Q4