The Super Bowl & the Budweiser Clydesdales commercials

By Posted on 6 Comments 2 min read 469 views

Last year’s Budweiser Clydesdales Super Bowl commercial.

A few years ago, I was a patient in a teaching hospital.  Every day, a gaggle of doctors and medical students making rounds gathered at the foot of my bed.

Once, in response to a question, I made some reference about a pain medication being “strong enough to take down a Clydesdale.”

A pale thin med student, with serious intent and a straight face, asked me, “What’s a Clydesdale?”

After I gaped at him, and his apparent boss whispered, “It’s a Very Big Horse,” I wanted to ask him where he went to college.

I guess I should be glad that at least one of my doctors had been studying or working, instead of chugging the brewskies while plastered to a TV set on Super Bowl Sunday. (Not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

Because the debut of a new Budweiser Clydesdale commercial has been a staple of Super Bowl ad line-ups, especially since the game became the showcase for commercials.

But The Clydesdales — come on, y’all know which ones I mean — have been a part of our popular culture since long before the Super Bowl began in 1966.

Let’s take a trip in The Way Back Machine, way back to before my youngling had been born.

Probably not a Super Bowl commercial

Vintage Budweiser commercial with the oompah music.

Some of the commenters who posted below that YouTube video say that the commercial is said to be from 1967 or 1968.

The Super Bowl was barely a year old then and wasn’t the media powerhouse that it is now.  Let alone the premiere arena for ad campaigns.

As for that video, some disagree about its era. I’m not the only one thinking that it might be from the ’70s.

Maybe from Super Bowl? Or maybe not?

And here’s one said to be from 1975:

Commercial from 1975 with Clydesdale foal

Back when these older videos were made, narrative wasn’t as big a part of  ad campaigns and other forms of persuasion as it is now.

These days, often a Clydesdale commercial will tell a story, like that of Hank’s goal to join The Big Hitch in 2008. The themes behind these 60 second commercials is of big dreams and heart-warming achivements.

Like last year’s commercial featuring, instead of the horses, a wanna-be dalmatian;

The “I Wanna Be a Budweiser Dalmatian” commercial.

More dreams come true in this 2006 Clydesdales’ commercial. Remember the foal in the 1975 commercial? Well, his grandson (well, he could be) can literally pull off the impossible.

Compare the evolution of narrative in the foal commercial from 1975 to the foal commercial from 2006.

Making a statement since 1933

The first Budweiser Clydesdales commemorated the repeal of Prohibition, according to the Busch Gardens FAQ about the Clydesdales .

What do you think?

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  • Stacey Adams
    February 9, 2011

    Rhonda – once again, you’ve found a way to make lemonade out of the lemons last Sunday! And here I was, after reading Jackie’s blog, so looking forward to the “show”.

    Thanks to the both of you! (again)

    • Rhonda Lane
      February 9, 2011

      Hi, Stacey – Glad you enjoyed our own little Clydesdale celebration, in light of the mere glimpses we were given for 2011. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by and saying “hello.”

  • Roberta
    February 4, 2013

    Is there anyway you can make a DVD on all the Clydesdales Budweiser commercials. i will gladly buy it!!!

    • Rhonda Lane
      February 4, 2013

      Hi, Roberta – I can’t because I don’t own the copyright; however, Budweiser could. They’re also up individually on YouTube so you can watch them any time. Just do a web search on Clydesdales, Budweiser and commercial. Thanks for stopping by and saying “hi.”