The true story behind the iconic 9/11 Budweiser commercial that only aired once

National/World News

ST. LOUIS — An emotional, powerful television ad featuring the Budweiser Clydesdales aired only one time, during Super Bowl XXXVI on Feb. 3, 2002.

In the ad, the horses pay tribute to the memory of the fallen of 9/11 with an unforgettable, breathtaking bow. Many people have never forgotten the commercial that only aired once.

Anheuser-Busch’s creative team came up with the concept and moved heaven and earth to make the commercial. It had to get approval from members of Congress, the advertising community and from New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

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

It was amazing, especially considering how New York was a city still hurting. And yet a St. Louis-based company, touched by the pain of the worst act of terrorism on U.S. soil, took a risk to help one of our favorite cities and our nation heal.

The company’s logo is absent throughout the entire video until the very end.

Budweiser did air an updated version of the commercial on Sept. 11, 2011, the 10th anniversary of the attacks, but the original commercial has only aired one time. 

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