9/11 anniversary: Budweiser updates Clydesdales’ tribute in new commercial

Budweiser is commemorating the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks by updating a poignant ad that only aired once.

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On Saturday, Anheuser-Busch, the parent company of Budweiser, will air an updated version of “Respect,” a commercial that aired during Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3, 2002.

The St. Louis-based beer giant debuted the commercial Friday on YouTube.

The 60-second ad will be shown twice on Saturday, according to KTVI: During a break in the Air Force-Navy college football game, and again several hours later during a major league baseball game between the New York Yankees and the New York Mets.

The new commercial shows a team of Clydesdale horses pulling a red Budweiser-branded wagon across the Brooklyn Bridge and down a cobblestone street in Lower Manhattan. In the final image, the horses, standing on the grass of Liberty State Park in Jersey City, New Jersey, lower their heads before the New York City skyline, where the Tribute in Light that has replaced the destroyed World Trade Center is visible against the twilight sky, The New York Times reported.

“By releasing the film sparingly, we preserve the significance of the day and really pay the respect that those that were lost deserve,” Daniel Blake, a vice president of marketing at Budweiser’s parent company, Anheuser-Busch InBev, told the Times.

The new version ends with a message in white letters against a black background: “Twenty years later, we’ll never forget.” The company’s logo then shows for seven seconds, along with onscreen mentions of the 9/11 Memorial & Museum and the Never Forget Fund.

“We wanted to do it obviously in a very subtle way, but it’s important to make sure that people know where the spot is coming from and who’s creating the film itself,” Blake told the Times.

The original ad also featured the horses bowing in the direction of New York City. Anheuser-Busch also released a remastered version of the commercial on the 10th anniversary of the attacks, KTVI reported.

Budweiser received permission from Congress and then-New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani to send a helicopter to capture the Clydesdales coming into the city, the Times reported.

“We filmed in New York City. We had a helicopter going over the Brooklyn Bridge. Mayor Giuliani let us into the city,” Bob Lachky, former executive vice president of Anheuser-Busch Global Creative, told KTVI. “The only film company of any sort right after 9/11 to actually come into air space with our helicopter to film the Clydesdales coming into Battery Park and it was amazing -- just amazing.”