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Budweiser Ad to Prevent Drunk Driving Goes Viral

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Twitter postA new TV commercial for Budweiser is getting a lot of compliments for being an effective way to prevent drunk driving. As Huff Post Impact Canada headlines its article on the ad, “If This Dog Can’t Stop You From Drinking And Driving, What Can?”

The minute-long ad, titled “Friends Are Waiting,” shows a young man and his yellow lab Cooper bonding over the years in what Rene Lynch, writing for the Los Angeles Times, calls “a series of sweet moments” — rides in the car, summer swims, and one night when the man heads out with some friends and a case of Budweiser beer. Lynch adds that we see the dog waiting for the man to return.

As Lynch writes, the dog:

…worries. And waits. And frets.

We won’t ruin the ending for you. But it just might break your heart.

In a good way.

In the article “Why This Puppy Will Make You Think Twice About Drinking and Driving,” Rachel Swain writes that deaths from drunk driving are too common, and that almost one third of all vehicle accidents involve a driver impaired by alcohol, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Drunk driving affects people of all ages, she writes, noting that a University of Florida study this year found that just one drink impaired the driving skills of people aged 55 and older. And Lynch notes that drunk driving killed more than 10,000 people in the U.S. in 2012.

The Budweiser commercial, created with the help of ad agency Momentum Worldwide, according to Huff Post Canada, is part of Anheuser-Busch’s 5th annual Global Be(er) Responsible Day, which was last Friday, Lynch writes. Since Friday, when it was posted on Budweiser’s YouTube channel, it has gotten more than 9 million views, and continues to garner more.

The ad has been getting a lot of positive feedback on Twitter, where it bears the hashtag #FriendsAreWaiting, as HuffPost Canada writes. As Neha Prakash writes in a Mashable article, a Twitter post from Matt Galage calls the commercial “genius.” And Iowenna tweets, “great way to get the message across.”

In Advertising Age, E.J. Schultz quotes Budweiser spokesman Brian Perkins on the ad:

‘Friendship, camaraderie and enjoying great times are at the heart of Budweiser’s most popular campaigns, and this video maintains that tradition but with an unexpected twist…. Budweiser is known for connecting with beer drinkers in memorable ways, and our efforts to promote responsible drinking through this video are no exception.’


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