Budweiser’s new Super Bowl commercial has elicited controversy over its immigration themes. The ad focuses on the fictionalized story of Budweiser co-founder Adolphus Busch who emigrated from Germany to the U.S. in 1857, as Variety reports.
The company unveiled the ad via YouTube on Tuesday. Its debut followed Trump’s contentious executive order signed last Friday, which bars nationals from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days and refugees for 120 days from entering the U.S. The commercial sparked criticism from several conservatives, including former Vice Presidential nominee Sarah Palin, who tweeted that the ad had a “politically charged message” that has “Americans speechless.”
A representative for the company said the commercial’s intent is to showcase Busch’s resolve and the company’s heritage.
“We created the Budweiser commercial to highlight the ambition of our founder, Adolphus Busch, and his unrelenting pursuit of the American dream,” Anheuser-Busch InBev marketing VP Marcel Marcondes said in a statement, via Variety. “This is a story of our heritage and the uncompromising commitment that goes into brewing our beer.”
In the minute-long clip, which is entitled “Born the Hard Way,” a stranger in a bar says, “You don’t look like you’re from around here” to Busch. It goes on to depict Busch’s harrowing boat journey to come to America. “Why leave Germany?” a fellow traveler asks Busch. “I want to brew beer,” he says.
When he arrives in the U.S. he encounters a hostile crowd and is told, “You’re not wanted here” and “Go back home.” He continues traveling and reaches St. Louis, where he’s finally warmly greeted. At a pub, a fellow customer offers to buy him a beer.
It’s then revealed that the friendly patron is his future brewing company partner, Eberhard Anheuser.