If you’ve been on social media in the past week it’s likely you’ve come across Budweiser’s new ad and if you’ve seen it, you know exactly which one I’m talking about. On Friday, Budweiser released the new ad as part of AB InBev’s fifth annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day. The Ad features a man and his dog living and growing over time from the day he brought his dog home as a puppy to several years and many Budweisers later. But the reason the ad has been so successful and sharable is that it does something no other alcohol company has been brave enough to do, they directly address the subject of drunk driving. Towards the end of the commercial, the man leaves his dog home with friends and a pack of Budweiser yet as the night goes on the dog waits up for his owner and across the screen comes the tagline, “For some the waiting never ends”. The ad not only acknowledges the lives lost to drunk driving but it also provides a solution. The next morning the owner returns saying he decided not to drive and stay at a friend’s house that night. The ad then closes out with the hashtag #friendsarewaiting.
The ad has been a viral success because it not only features a cute puppy but it separates itself from other beer commercials by putting a face to the victims of drunk driving, the driver is not the only victim but with #friendsarewaiting we realize we are not the only victims. I really liked this ad because it made things personal and was real. It was not just another beer commercial depicting good times but revealed some of the harmful effects that alcohol can have. It was a risk for Budweiser to address drunk driving but they did so successfully not just by making it personal (and adorable) but by also providing a solution, to stay over and not drive drunk. Most other alcohol commercials feature the tagline “drink responsibly” in their ads but it is never featured in the ad and more just an afterthought because it is required by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. However, due to the success of Budweiser’s new ad it opens the doors for other alcohol companies to address the topic of drunk driving and if others were to take it on and it were to become prominent in the media it might be able to inspire some real changes.
Alcohol Beverage Labeling and Advertising. (2013, July 22). Retrieved September 25, 2014, from http://www.ttb.gov/consumer/labeling_advertising.shtml
Budweiser. (2014, September 19). Global Be(er) Responsible Day |. Retrieved September 25, 2014, from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eubWYPhcEEo