What does beer have to do with immigration? Maybe a frat boy wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat while watching Fox News report on Trump’s recent travel ban and opening an ice cold brewski — but you’ll have to ask Budweiser for a better explanation.
One of America’s favorite beer kingdoms pre-released their Super Bowl ad this past week. The ad, titled “Born the Hard Way,” highlights Adolph Busch’s journey from Germany to America, the land of opportunity, and how the Anheuser-Busch brewing company first got its start.
Two of the most notable (and politically relevant) lines from the ad:
“You don’t look like you’re from around here.”
“You’re not wanted here! Go back home!” *shouted by an angry mob*
Although the ad was set in 1857, its tone is not a far cry from the so-called “Trump-era” America we’re living in today. The ad, released on January 31, came just days after Trump issued his executive order banning immigrants from seven majority-Muslim countries, as well as banning Syrian immigrants indefinitely.
Despite the ad’s blatant political tone, representatives for Anheuser-Busch, Budweiser’s parent company, denied any political connection.
“We created the Budweiser commercial to highlight the ambition of our founder, Adolphus Busch, and his unrelenting pursuit of the American dream,” Marcel Marcondes, Anheuser-Busch’s marketing VP, said in a statement. “This is a story about our heritage and the uncompromising commitment that goes into brewing our beer.”
Ricardo Marques, Budweiser’s vice president, echoed similar sentiments to AdWeek.
“It’s true, Adolphus Busch made an incredible journey to this country, and that’s really what this is about. It’s about his vision, his dream, everything that he does to achieve that,” he said. “Even though it happened in the 1850s, it’s a story that is super relevant today. That’s what we’re honing in on; it’s the pursuit, the effort, the passion, the drive, the hard work, the ambition, that’s really what this is about more than anything else.”
It should be noted that the ad has been in the making for a while, so it was not a direct response to Trump’s travel ban. However, immigration was a hot topic in this past election cycle, so much so that the ad still presents a relevant political statement. However, Marques begs to differ.
“There’s really no correlation with anything else that’s happening in the country,” he continued. “We believe this is a universal story that is very relevant today because probably more than any other period in history today the world pulls you in different directions, and it’s never been harder to stick to your guns.”
In times like these, it’s hard not to take anything politically, so an ad such as this one really can’t get away with it’s non-political claims. In addition, the commercial was specifically made for the Super Bowl, a highly televised event that is seen by millions all over the country.
Let it be known that all this controversy sparked the hashtag #BoycottBudweiser on Twitter, as conservatives are speaking out. You know it’s a big deal when something causes Americans to give up their favorite beer.
Despite the statements from the Anheuser-Busch and Budweiser teams, the commercial undoubtedly holds much significance in today’s world. While the company may not outwardly be for or against Trump, their ad presents an underlying testimony of unity and support to those who choose to immigrate to this country in hopes of a better life, and what it really means to be American. The beer brand definitely used their platform to make a loud and proud statement, and that is something to be said in times of fear and divide exhibited by much of America.
Feature Image Source: Paul Sableman, Flickr