Budweiser left behind the Clydesdale horses in favor of a spot telling the story of its immigrant founder, Adolphus Busch.
Budweiser's feel-good commercials, usually featuring Clydesdale horses and puppies, have become synonymous with Super Bowl Sunday.
The beer company's recently released spot for Super Bowl LI is similarly uplifting but takes a different tack. "Born The Hard Way" follows Budweiser's immigrant founder Adolphus Busch on his journey from Germany to America.
In the one-minute ad set in the 1800s, the young Busch is met with a harsh welcome, as Americans yell "you're not wanted here!" and "go back home!" He eventually settles in St. Louis, where he meets Eberhard Anheuser. The two would collaborate to form beer powerhouse Anheuser-Busch (now Anheuser-Busch InBev), the parent company of Budweiser, Bud Light and Corona, among other beers and spirits.
"This commercial shows the start of Budweiser’s journey, and while it is set in the 1800's, it's a story we believe will resonate with today's entrepreneurial generation — those who continue strive for their dreams,” Ricardo Marques, Budweiser’s vice president of marketing, said in a press release.
The ad comes amidst controversy over President Donald Trump's executive order to halt immigrant from seven Muslim-majority countries. According to the press release, the commercial is unrelated to the executive order and focuses on the general experience of the immigrant rather than any specific situation.