Budweiser offers a Super Bowl ad that has just about everything: Clydesdales, April the Dalmatian, the gravel-voiced eloquence of Bob Dylan — and the gentle whirring of wind turbines.
It opens with April’s ears ruffling in the breeze. The camera moves out to show she’s atop a wagon being pulled by the Clydesdales, gliding gracefully up the road. All the while Dylan sings Blowin’ in the Wind, written in 1962, five years before there was a Super Bowl.
Soon the camera pans and you see the wagon is winding its way through a wind farm. Words appear onscreen: Wind never felt better. And then: Now brewed with wind power for a better tomorrow.
“We think it’s an instant classic,” Ricardo Marques tells USA TODAY Sports. He is group vice president of marketing core and value brands at Anheuser-Busch.
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Some are certain to complain that a lilting anthem of the civil-rights and anti-war movements of the 1960s — a song that confronts injustice and indifference — is now used to sell beer.
“I think people will forgive us for that,” Marques says, pointing out that here the song is in service to the greater good.
Angie Slaughter, Anheuser-Busch’s vice president of sustainability, says the company has a wind farm on a ranch in Oklahoma and 100% of the electricity used in brewing Budweiser comes from renewable energy.
“It’s more than just beer,” she says. “This commercial is for everyone. It’s something we should be thinking about every day.”
The company says Budweiser is the first major beer brand to be brewed with 100% renewable electricity from wind power. And the company says it is donating clean electricity to Atlanta to power the city for the week of the Super Bowl.
The commercial runs 60 seconds online but will run at 45 seconds in the game.
“The ad brings you the classic elements” of Bud ads past, including the Clydesdales, Marques says. “Then it brings you something new. We think that combination is very powerful.”
Rolling Stone ranks Blowin’ in the Wind No. 14 on its list of the 500 greatest songs. Where this ad will rank on USA TODAY’s Ad Meter — a ranking of ads based on consumer votes — is up in the air until the morning after Super Sunday. Just know that Bud and Bud Light have won Ad Meter 14 of 30 times. The wind is at their backs.