Chapter 4 Budweiser Celebrates the End to Prohibition

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budweiser clydesdales

The Budweiser Clydesdales refers to teams of Clydesdale horses used to pull restored turn-of-the-century beer wagons for Budweiser.

They first appeared in 1933, given as a gift to the brewery’s CEO from his son to celebrate the repeal of prohibition.

The horses were hitched to wagons and sent to New York where they delivered a case of Budweiser to former Governor Alfred Smith, who had been instrumental in fighting prohibition. They proceeded on a tour witnessed by thousands, and delivered a further crate of beer to President Roosevelt.

where did the budweiser clydesdales come from?

Original Budweiser Clydesdale Six-horse Hitch and Beer Wagon, in front of the St. Louis Brewery in 1933. Photo: Manes and Tails Harness Club

In 1986, there began a tradition of featuring the Clydesdales during advertisements at the Super Bowl.

Similarly, from 1954 to 2011 the horses have pulled floats in the St. Louis Tournament of Roses Parade, returning to pull their own beer wagon in 2014.

Such events aptly demonstrate the effect of using the horses. While beer trucks and related advertising are an expected feature at parades and sporting events, a horse-drawn beer wagon is considerably more unusual and thus likely to stick in people’s minds.

Indeed, after the brewery announced that the horses would not be appearing in ads during the 2010 Super Bowl, fans voted on Facebook in such force that the brewery reversed their position.

Holiday Marketing Takeaway

Although far from a surefire success, consider appealing to large audiences with the use of live animals in your campaign.

Photo: Anheuser-Busch

Table of Contents

Intro150 Years of the Best Holiday Campaigns
Chapter 1 The Genesis of Holiday Window Displays
Chapter 2 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade Brings Spectacle to the Season
Chapter 3 How Coca-Cola Invented The Father of Christmas (Or did they?)
Chapter 4 Budweiser Celebrates the End to Prohibition
Chapter 5 Montgomery Ward Employee Invents Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
Chapter 6 Campbell’s Soup Speaks to the ’50s Housewife
Chapter 7 Mr. Potato Head Becomes First Toy Ever Televised
Chapter 8 NORAD Tracks Santa’s Journey Around the World
Chapter 9 Norelco Popularizes Stop-Motion Animation
Chapter 10 Kentucky Fried Chicken for Christmas? Why You’ll Eat KFC in Japan
Chapter 11 Folgers Advertises the Intangible
Chapter 12 Hershey’s Holiday Bells Defy an Ad Agency
Chapter 13 Coca-Cola’s Polar Bears Humanize Global Warming
Chapter 14 Coca-Cola’s Christmas Fleet Brings Truckloads of Cheer
Chapter 15 M&M’s Stumble Upon Santa –– No One is Left Standing
Chapter 16 Starbucks Red Cups Spark Consumer Salivating (and Controversy)
Chapter 17 Target Keeps it Simple with Their Black Friday Catalog Focuses on Price
Chapter 18 Pampers Silent Night Raises $40 Million for Charity
Chapter 19 Give a Garmin Hits on Travel, Humor and Holiday Stress
Chapter 20 John Lewis Focuses on Storytelling Over Brand
Chapter 21 Macy’s Believe Campaign Raises $10 Million, Involves Schools
Chapter 22 American Express Small Business Saturday Supports Local
Chapter 23 Apple Misunderstood Campaign Makes Technology and Family a Priority
Chapter 24 REI’s #OptOutside Campaign Bucks Tradition