Budweiser Treads Carefully in Updated 9/11 Advertisement

Advertisement against a tragic event is a delicate calculation for American companies. Do they recognize the opportunity and call for charges from opportunists? Are they silent and in danger of escaping their reach or are they not patriotic? What is the boundary between celebration and commercialization?

On Saturday, during a break from an afternoon football game, Budweiser celebrates the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks with an announcement of a team of Clydesdale horses riding a red Budweiser wagon across the Brooklyn Bridge and a road. to drive. . . In the last image, the horses, standing on the grass at Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., lower their heads toward the city skyline, where the Tribute in Light installation is visible against the dusky sky.

The 60-second ad, which appeared on YouTube Friday, is an updated version of Budweiser’s “Respect” ad, which first appeared during the 2002 Super Bowl, five months after the attacks. The company reposted the announcement in its 10th year of existence in 2011.

The new announcement will appear on CBS’s broadcast of the college football showdown between the Air Force Falcons and the future Navy and again on Fox tonight during the New York Yankees-New York Mets baseball game.

“By releasing the film in moderation, we preserve the importance of the day and really give the respect that lost people deserve,” said Daniel Blake, vice president of marketing for Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev.

To make its first commercial reference on Sept. 11, shortly after the attacks, Budweiser received special permission from Congress and Rudolph Giuliani, New York City’s mayor at the time, to send a helicopter to cross the city’s Clydesdales intersection. . to the skyline of Liberty State Park.

The new version ends with a message in white letters on a black background playing a rousing melody: “Twenty years later we will never forget”. The company logo is then displayed for seven seconds, along with on-screen mentions of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Never Forget Fund. There is no story on the screen.

“Obviously we wanted to do it in a really subtle way, but it’s important to make sure people know where the film is coming from and who’s making it,” says Blake.

Budweiser is one of several companies that have placed or used ads to commemorate the tragic day in American history. In 2011, there was a well-received ad for State Farm, run by Spike Lee, featuring children serving New York firefighters with “Empire State of Mind.”

The announcement was withdrawn on Thursday, said Ted Wietecha, a spokesperson for Dish Network, the parent company of Sling TV. The company apologized to viewers, he said in an email.

“The timing and placement of this particular announcement should not have happened,” he said. “While we use keyword blocking to purchase digital, TV, and streaming ads, we have the ability to withhold ads during certain seasons and times of the day.

MSNBC released the ad-free documentary “Memory Box: Echoes of 9/11” this week. A spokesperson said in an email that “the importance of story and content far exceeds the commercialization of this program,” adding that the network may consider selling ad space during reruns.