If you saw last night’s Super Bowl and aren’t made of stone, Budweiser’s “lost dog” commercial probably made you feel some feels. I personally would watch a feature film about puppy-horse friendships (please, make that movie), but why cast the young lab’s lupine cousin as the supervillain? The big, bad wolf? C’mon Budweiser, that’s so 16th century—or, worse yet, a terrible Liam Neeson flick.
If Budweiser wanted to go for realism (and to be fair, it didn’t), its gallant band of Clydesdales would rescue the puppy from a shelter, puppy mill, or crappy owners (see the related ad GoDaddy was forced to pull). Animal shelters euthanize 1.2 million dogs every year, and an equal number get hit by cars. Wolves rarely kill pets.
The species has a bad enough rap (thanks, Little Red Riding Hood) without Budweiser turning pro-puppy America against them. And the ad comes at a particularly bad time: Gray wolf populations are still struggling to recover after decades of fear-driven persecution, and wildlife organizations are currently battling to keep them protected under federal law. These predators are a natural part of a functioning ecosystem, and there’s nothing scary about that. So, shame on you, Bud! America’s, um, most sophisticated beer drinkers deserve a better bad guy.
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