WATCH: New Yorkers Remember Budweiser’s Iconic 9/11 Clydesdales Ad
The tragic events of September 11, 2001, left a mark on American history, and for the people who lived through this day, it is etched in our memories forever.
As the world grappled to come to grips with the unspeakable devastation and loss of human lives, Budweiser released a touching commercial that aired only once during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. The ad which featured Clydesdale horses kneeling in deference to the New York skyline, went on to become one of the most iconic and unforgettable tributes to the heroes of 9/11.
Budweiser's 'Respect' Ad: A Tribute to 9/11 Victims
In the aftermath of 9/11, the United States was plunged into an unprecedented state of mourning, and many brands tried to find ways to honor the memory of the thousands of lives that were lost. However, no brand was able to honor the memory of those lost quite as movingly as Budweiser. The brewery decided to put its marketing budget toward a 60-second spot that would pay tribute to the fallen heroes and showcase the American spirit of resilience. The advertisement was titled "Respect" and featured the brand's signature Clydesdale horses traveling across the country to honor the victims of 9/11. When they came to New York City, the horses paused near the Brooklyn Bridge and, in a poignant moment, kneeled and bowed their heads in deference to the New York skyline.
The significance of the ad wasn't lost on viewers, and it resonated with the nation as a whole, becoming a symbol of hope for many Americans. Budweiser donated its marketing budget, in the millions, toward funding relief efforts for the families of victims of 9/11 in a move that earned the company immense goodwill and respect.
Why Did the Budweiser 9/11 Ad Only Air Once?
Despite the ad's intention to resonate with audiences, Budweiser decided to air it only once during Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002. The decision to air it only once was based on the company's desire to pay tribute to those who lost their lives on 9/11 without commercializing the tragedy. The ad's emotional content and powerful images stirred up feelings of loss, hope, and patriotism, but the company agreed that the ad had made its point and decided it should never be aired again.
The Legacy of Budweiser's 9/11 Ad
Budweiser's 9/11 ad continues to evoke strong feelings of nostalgia and hope for a brighter future. The ad's creators wanted to honor the sacrifices made by the heroes of 9/11 and showcase the strength of the American people in times of adversity. They chose to do so in a way that was touching, sincere, and heartfelt. Although the ad might have aired only once, it remains ingrained in the memory of a nation that will never forget the bravery and heroism of those who lost their lives on 9/11.
Budweiser's "Respect - 20th Anniversary" 9/11 Commercial
Budweiser released an updated version of its iconic "Respect" commercial in commemoration of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. This revised version, titled "Respect - 20th Anniversary," was aired during an afternoon football game on September 11, 2021.