Budweiser and the Clydesdales, Part 2

After the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, Anheuser Busch quickly made this ad to play during the 2002 Super Bowl. It is a great example of how advertisers wrap their messages in “American values” and patriotic themes, to the point where we forget we are viewing an ad.

Watch the commercial closely for examples of metonymy: The horse and wagon passes down an idealized main street, complete with the kind of barber you would find there 50 years ago. It crosses the Brookly Bridge, certainly one of the most iconic structures in America. The New York skyline appears, and the Statue of Liberty makes a cameo apperance. Then watch a news account about the ad. Note how the commercial is discussed as if it were a feature film. It is a prime example of the type of “high concept” advertising discussed in The Persuaders.