The Seattle Seahawks should have followed Budweiser’s lead on Sunday: It knows that to win big in the Super Bowl, you should always go Beast Mode.
Budweiser’s precious little puppy and his “Best Buds,” the iconic Clydesdale horses, who reduced the nation to tears in Bud’s Super Bowl commercial in 2014, were back again on Sunday, and their heart-tugging tale came out on top of USA Today’s Ad Meter ranking of all Super Bowl commercials for the second year in a row.
It was the third straight win for Budweiser overall and the 13th time in the past 15 Super Bowls that Bud emerged victorious in the minds of the 6,703 voters on Ad Meter’s consumer panel, who ranked all 61 commercials in this year’s game.
Last February, Bud debuted “Puppy Love,” which told the story of a Golden Retriever puppy who befriends the Cyldesdales and routinely escapes a nearby animal shelter to visit them. When the puppy gets adopted, the Clydesdales intervene to keep him in their family.
This time around, in “Lost Dog,” the pup winds up in a horse trailer headed into the city. He escapes and makes his way back, enduring rain and other obstacles, only to be confronted by a menacing wolf just shy of home. But the horses become aware of the pup’s plight and escape their stable to come to the rescue, making sure the puppy gets home safe to his grateful owner.
“I have my own little dog, and seeing the Clydesdales save that sweet, precious little angel brought a slight tear to my eye,” Ad Meter panelist Kelly VonDrehle told USA TODAY.
As was the case in 2014, Budweiser released the ad online days before the game, giving it massive viral publicity in advance of its Super Bowl rollout, making it once again the most-anticipated ad, which contributed to its overall victory.
“If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” Budweiser vice president Brian Perkins told USA TODAY.
Here is 2014’s “Puppy Love” ad:
Via USA TODAY
Read more about dogs and the Super Bowl:
About the author: Jeff Goldberg is a freelance writer in Quincy, Mass. A former editor for MLB.com and sportswriter for the Hartford Courant who covered the University of Connecticut’s women’s basketball team (Huskies!) and the Boston Red Sox, Jeff has authored two books on the UConn women: Bird at the Buzzer (2011) and Unrivaled (2015). He lives with his wife, Susan, and their rescue pup, Rocky, an Italian Greyhuahua/Jack Russell mix from a foster home in Tennessee, hence the name Rocky (as in Rocky Top).