The Budweiser 9/11 Ad That Aired Only Once

Published On 09/11/2015 Published On 09/11/2015

You likely don't remember this advertisement, and you're not alone. But that's partially by design.

Originally aired during the 2002 Super Bowl, this Budweiser ad features the company's iconic Clydesdale horses amid a backdrop of post-9/11 New York City. But as KTVI points out, the spot aired once, and only once, as much a show of solidarity with the still-reeling city as a Super Bowl chatter point.

“Mayor Guiliani let us into the city, the only film company of any sort right after 9-11 to actually come into air space with our helicopter to film the Clydesdale the hitch coming into Battery Park and it was amazing…just amazing,” Bob Lachky, former executive vice president of AB Global Creative, told KTVI.

In fact, the ad features no narration or dialogue and hardly any Budweiser iconography, allowing the horses, Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty to say it all. Further platitudes about the strength of New Yorkers, the horror of the attacks, or the changes in America following 9/11 aren't needed here.

While you may not have remembered the ad, the stoic tribute holds up well, even 13 years later, and shows how television creative reverberates when crafted with care.

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Ryan Craggs is Thrillist's Senior News Editor. He usually makes a joke in this space, but, he'll leave the 9/11 jokes to Gilbert Gottfried. Follow him @ryanrcraggs.




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