It seems even Anheuser-Busch — once notoriously tight-lipped about releasing pre-game intel about their ads — has officially joined the trend of releasing it’s Super Bowl ads before the Big Game. Two days after unleashing its adorable Clydesdale-meets-puppy ad, the brewer has unveiled its second heartstring-tugger — “A Hero’s Welcome” — featuring a real-life soldier receiving an unexpected hometown welcome after returning home from a deployment.
I was really looking forward to this spot, mainly because the brewer’s 2007 Super Bowl ad, “Soldier’s Welcome” (featuring soldiers receiving a standing ovation in an airport), was such an emotional success and one of my favorite Super Bowl ads of all time.
I wanted to like this year’s rehashing of that feel-good story. I really did. But, in the end, it fell a little flat for me.
Don’t get me wrong, it gave me goose bumps and I got a little choked up, but it looked and felt like 100 other “troops coming home” videos I’ve seen online and in the news over the past 10 years. Nothing special. Nothing new. Except this video featured a Budweiser logo at the end.
Of course, like the cutesy Clydesdale puppy ad, you have to ask yourself the same question: Does the commercial make you thirsty for beer? Not really, but it does evoke a strong emotion in the viewer, and that’s worth something, I guess.