Budweiser tugged the heartstrings of millions with a poignant Super Bowl 2013 commercial featuring a horse breeder raising a baby Clydesdale horse and then reuniting with him many years later, under the soft lullaby of Fleetwood Mac’s Landslide. It is ranked the No. 3 most shared Super Bowl ad of all time and has immediately garnered 1.5 million shares the next day (Monday morning).
Although in the entirety of the ad, it does not feature the product at all (informative executional framework), and barely had any brand name placement until the end, the message design was brilliantly executed. It heavily used an emotional appeal, creating a strong bond that resonates powerfully between the customer and the brand. Anyone who watches this ad can reflect back to the milestones in their own life when they had to leave their comfort zone for better things, or experience a loved one depart from them. Budweiser had cleverly spun a real tear-jerker story, evoking heartwarming and positive emotions (love, loyalty, etc) that will definitely transfer towards the brand when the viewer purchases their next beer, developing a liking and preference for the brand. They used an affective > cognition > conative approach to persuade the customer.
Budweiser further engaged the viewer in a contest by asking its viewers to name “help name the baby Clydesdale seen in this commercial” by tweeting a name using the #Clydesdale hashtag. It leveraged the exposure of traditional advertising towards the digital platform, changing its message delivery with one campaign. This expanded its buzz and success online, further sparking engagement with the Clydesdale campaign, driving its virality.
(Yuen Kuk Chung (Yvonne) , 06303534, COMM335-1, article, message design, message delivery, affective, emotion, liking)