The Budweiser Clydesdales are a team of Clydesdale horses that the Anheiser-Busch Brewing Company has used in promotions and commercials since 1933. They were first used to celebrate Prohibition’s repeal.
The Budweisers Clydesdales consist of a team of eight horses pulling a red beer wagon with gold and white trim. The horses are always geldings chosen for their strength and good dispositions. They have to be at least four years old and stand at least 18 hands or six feet at the withers (ridge between the shoulder blades). They are always bays with a white blaze on their faces and white stocking feet.
Since the 1980s, Anheiser-Busch has shown advertisements featuring the Clydesdales during the Superbowl. In 2002, the beer company made a Clydesdale ad that paid tribute to the victims of the terrorist attacks on 9/11. As Anheiser-Busch did not intend to profit from the ad, they only played it once. The ad was aired during the halftime of the 2002 Superbowl. In 2011, Anheiser-Busch made a version of the ad that depicted the newly built Freedom Tower.
The video shows two takes of the 9/11 commercial. In both takes, the Clydedales are depicted setting out on a journey from somewhere in the country. A few people watch them as they travel from a farm and through small towns. The horses then cross the Brooklyn Bridge into New York City and head into Battery Park. There, they face the place where the World Trade Center had once stood and bow. The camera pulls away to show all eight horses standing with lowered heads. The commercial then fades to black and displays the words, “We’ll never forget.” Only at the very end does the commercial show the company logo.
New York City was still recovering from the attacks when the tribute was made. Anheiser-Busch therefore needed to get permission from then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani, other advertisers, and members of Congress to film the commercial. At the time, the ad’s makers were the only filmmakers allowed in New York City. They were even permitted to bring in the company helicopter to film aerial shots of the Clydesdales crossing the Brooklyn Bridge.