Gary Clark Jr. Shines in Inspirational Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl Ad
The new Budweiser Clydesdale Super Bowl Ad is out. It's got a lot of the staples of a classic Bud big game commercial: Wide open American plains, Clydesdale in trouble, and concerned dog (horse's best) friend. Some will find it uplifting and mildly memorable, others, a bit corny. The best part about it though is the guitar work provided by axe-master Gary Clark, Jr.
Clark provides a tense and ethereal background for the ad. As described in Guitar World, the ad is directed by Chole Zhao who won Academy Awards for Best Director and Best Picture for her 2020 film, Nomadland. “To tell a story of perseverance, hope and friendship through the lens of the beloved Clydesdales really resonated with me," said Zhao. Does it do all that? Watch the video and see if it checks all those boxes for you.
As the ad begins, the Clydesdale is showboating somewhere in the panoramic American West, attempting a leap over a section of barbed wire. Clark's version of The Star-Spangled Banner plays underneath. A friendly blonde lab is watching the action. Then... tragedy strikes! The massive draught horse catches a furry foot on the wire. The fence post breaks. Horse falls to the ground. Dirt flies. The dog barks in shock.
Cut to a bandage being wrapped around the Clydesdale's ankle in the barn. Dog is looking on in concern. Horse's head lolls. Clark's guitar feedback highlights the worry on the Native American caretaker's faces, as they drink cold Buds in the early evening. Embers spark in the fire.
It's now early morning. The Clydesdale tests his gimpy leg. The dog, still very worried, is in the back of the guys pickup truck. But wait! He senses SOMETHING from the barn. We can see a snort of the horse's breath from the stable! As the music picks up, we see the silhouette of the horse making its way through the barn. The dog barks!
Gary Clark Jr. "Numb" Live Version
Cue the bridge to Gary Clark Jr.'s "Numb", accenting this veterinary miracle. The horse is on its feet! The drums pound, the guitar soars! The dog runs! The horse runs! Clippety-clomp clippety-clomp!
No explanation is given for this wonder of horse-foot-science, but the caption reads, "In the home of the brave, down never means out." Budweiser logo.
Well, the guitar was super cool.