This Commercial Break Brought to you by Budweiser

My husband was watching the first game of the World Series Wednesday night.  I was in the room, reading.  I looked up in time to catch the end of a new Budweiser advertisement that was created to air during the World Series.

My initial reaction was, WHAT??  What happened to “Drink Responsibly”?

Yesterday, I watched the full commercial on YouTube.

Of course, the ad is well done, and the story tugs at your heart strings.  A man and his dog, an age old story.

Who doesn’t love a dog?  It is especially heartwarming after the montage of the dog and man bonding.  Growing from puppy to full grown dog and trusted companion.

After watching the commercial a few times, I still had the same feeling.  The message it was perpetuating was wrong.

I spent time Goggling reviews of this commercial.  All the analysts seem to love it.  Although I got the sense that they love the adorable dog, and handsome man more than the message.

The commercial is tagged by Budweiser:

“Next time you go out, be sure to make a plan to get home safely. Your friends are counting on you. Enjoy Budweiser responsibly. #FriendsAreWaiting,”

A bit of an oxymoron, don’t you think?  If you are drinking responsibly, you should be able to drive home, correct?

For a recovering alcoholic, I find the commercial disturbing.  The way I interpret it is thus; go out, drink as much as you want, get drunk, and pass out at a friends because you are far to inebriated to drive home.

License to drink irresponsibly, woot!

Upon returning home in the morning, your trusty companion will be waiting at the door.

He will not have gone through the garbage, chewed on the furniture, or crapped on the rug while you were out .  He will be concerned and awaiting patiently on your beautiful leather sofa, like a concerned human, just happy you made it home, finally, safely.

I find this ad to be the antithesis of the “Drink Responsibly” campaign.

I find it unsettling, and feel that its message is way off mark.

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22 thoughts on “This Commercial Break Brought to you by Budweiser

  1. I agree completely. The commercial did nothing for me.
    It pretty much said go out, get drunk, leave your “family” waiting
    They will be happy you are ok.

    No. Not responsible at all.

    • I love this commercial. It just wouldn’t have had the same impact if it showed the man at his friend’s house, saying “No thanks, I’m driving tonight”, and him getting home safely to his dog. While an admirable sentiment, it would be the beer-commercial version of abstinence-only sex ed. Nice in theory, but not really successful in practice for most people.

      Sometimes, even so-called “normies” are going to drink too much, and the vast majority of those people know when they’ve crossed that line and are no longer able to drive home safely. In my opinion, he did “Drink Responsibly” by not getting behind the wheel when he realized he’d had one too many.

      Although NOT getting smashed would have been preferable, the man clearly followed a path of Harm Reduction that kept him safe, kept others on the road safe, and made sure his best friend still had a “dad” the next day.

  2. Hmmmm…I’ll be honest, I didn’t think of it this way at all. Then again, I’m a hopeless romantic and sentimentalist who loves dogs so…well you get the picture.

    Thinking about it from your perspective, I can see what you mean. However (just a fancy word for “but”), I know that even normies have too much from time to time (especially during events like the SuperBowl, World Cup and World Series) so I like the message that the dog will be FINE even if you stay at a friends…JUST DON’T DRIVE. You can clean up the pee and poop and he can always drink from the toilet (he’s going to anyway) if he needs water but the mess you’ll make by driving home drunk may not be fixable.

    Just the way my brain works I guess. I’ll watch again with a different set of eyes though.

    Sherry

  3. Reblogged this on club east: indianapolis and commented:
    soberlearning swings for the fences, gets through the marketing crap, and gets straight to the point on the Bud commercial that aired during the first World Series game last night. Going to quote at length in case any of you aren’t inclined to connect the dots to this amazing blog:

    “For a recovering alcoholic, I find the commercial disturbing. The way I interpret it is thus; go out, drink as much as you want, get drunk, and pass out at a friends because you are far to inebriated to drive home.

    License to drink irresponsibly, woot!

    Upon returning home in the morning, your trusty companion will be waiting at the door.

    He will not have gone through the garbage, chewed on the furniture, or crapped on the rug while you were out . He will be concerned and awaiting patiently on your beautiful leather sofa, like a concerned human, just happy you made it home, finally, safely.”

  4. Pingback: repost: this commercial break brought to you by budweiser | club east: indianapolis

  5. I agree. This commercial does not encourage responsible drinking. It encourages not driving when you drink, which assumes you will be drinking a lot of their product. Which, of course, is good for their bottom line. However, a clear result of drinking a lot of their product is the failure of good judgment, ie, driving drunk. So, how is said dog owner going to be able to make the smart decision to not drive when his judgment about what is a smart decision is decimated because he’s indulged in too much of InBev’s product? Logical disconnect. Encouraging no drinking and driving is good and this is a cute commercial, but I’m sure there were a lot of cute ads promoting responsible cigarette smoking back in the day.

  6. It’s a beer commercial…let’s keep it in perspective. They are selling beer, not a message 🙂
    I didn’t mind the commercial, and I am a guy that drank and drove hundreds (and I mean hundreds) of times. Everything from toilet paper to sporting gear will use emotional stuff like this to sell their wares.

    anyway, I understand your point. But it’s a beer commercial. Lots of hypocracy in capitalism 🙂

    • Yes, I know, I used to be in the commercial business. There are subliminal messages used also. I did not feel the drink responsibly vibe here. Just my opinion. I also don’t really feel a strong don’t drink and drive vibe either.
      It is Anheuser Busch, they will redeem themselves for the Super Bowl. 🙂

  7. the only problem I have with it is that if Normie did over-indulge and couldn’t drive, Normie would be dragging home with a hangover and be in kind of a mood to be cleaning up dog shit.

  8. Something else to add in the mix 🙂 I was at the gym and the music videos where pumping away with those good fast beats that keep you pumping at a quicker tempo. While I was watching them I noticed that SO many of them are pumping as people are drinking alcohol and partying in the videos. The annoying thing is I will probably notice this all the time now lol.

    • In my early days of sobriety I noticed drinking in EVERYTHING!!! I counted strangers drinks when we went out, I could practically taste it in movies and television shows. It was brutal. It has lessened now almost to the point where I am unaware, until it begins to show on the drinkers.
      It is socially acceptable to drink, if you don’t, you are odd man out. I am just happy that I am becoming desensitized to it, for the most part.
      Except, of course, for the dog who was still on his best behavior last night during the World Series!

      • OMG! Me too! I so remember noticing everything and everyone who was drinking, talking about drinking, thinking about drinking. It felt really overwhelming at first. Now it’s not so bad. The only thing I notice at parties is what kind of wine they are serving and whether or not anyone gets drunk. Oh…and I have to make sure I know where the bathroom is because all that diet coke can really do a number on my bladder.

        Great discussion here – looks like you really touched a nerve.

        Sherry

  9. I agree with you…if you drink responsible you won’t have to stay at a friends house. What if it’s kids instead of a dog, would it be still responsible to leave them alone all night long? I don’t think so. BTW, as dog owners we always have a plan B and somebody has a key to our house to let the dogs out, in case we are stuck somewhere.

  10. We just discussed this commercial in my Substance abuse prevention class. Everyone loved it. But I am cynical and don’t trust when alcohol companies try to act like they are sending a preventive message but really just want to sell more product. But we live in an alcogenic society. Rather someone drink and NOT drive than the unrealistic desire that EVERYONE stay sober.

    • Looking at it from a recovery point of view, I do not think the message of Don’t Drink and Drive is loud enough. The thing that resonated with me is the young man coming home, not hung over, but still admitting to his perfectly mannered dog, he drank to much.
      I think the message misses its mark.
      I too am cynical, booze companies are selling booze period.

  11. I’ve struggled for years trying to understand how adverts from Carlsberg & Heineken get passed the authorities. This one too. Alcohol is a drug after all. Cigarettes couldn’t be advertised in this way, so why is beer ok? Slapping a ‘remember to drink responsibly’ message at the bottom is just paying lip service really. Great post!

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