Two of Anheuser-Busch's Super Bowl ads were widely acclaimed as among the best on Sunday's Super Bowl.
One told the story of a relationship between a puppy and the Anheuser-Busch signature Clydesdales. The other, however, looked at a celebration for an American veteran, returning home from battle. The ad, according to several veterans, tried to walk a delicate line between celebrating and pandering.
“I loved it,” said Jeremy Brown of Montgomery, Ala. “Loved the dedication to the troops!”
Mike Kopack from Raleigh, N.C., said the ad “walks a fine line between 'welcome home' and 'look what we did', but Bud kept it on the right side.”
“I liked it, well done,” Kopack added.
Others, though, were turned off by the commercial.
“It was a cheap ploy to include the US military in a beer that tastes disgusting,” wrote Daniel Lopez from Washington, DC.
Gerald Mahle of Denmark, S.C., also found the ad offensive. “It was pure commercial shlock,” he said.
Patricia Hohl, whose son Alex served two tours as a Marine in Afghanistan, didn't like the TV ad much either. She quoted Boston University political scientist Andrew Bacevich, whose own son was killed in the Iraq War. Hohl said the Budweiser ad came off as “cheap grace.”
"These feel good moments are designed to let people feel as if they're participating in supporting our troops," Hohl said. "And quite honestly, in this country, I don't know what supporting our troops really means."
While she said she agrees with the sentiment of the ad — that every soldier deserves a hero's welcome — she doesn't see football game advertisements as an appropriate way to honor veterans.
Hohl has qualms about making the private and personal matter of a loved one returning home from war into a public spectacle. She says this ad "allows people to feel as if they're doing something, allows people to feel as if they're participating, when the next minute they're back down in their seats watching the Super Bowl and eating hot dogs."
Hohl game with her son but said he didn't tell her what he thought of the commercial.
"Alex is quite quiet," she explained. "Alex is not one to speak about these things without being asked. So, this is something I hope to speak with him about in the next few days."
If you're a veteran or a vet's family member and you want to join The World's veteran's texting community, it's easy. Just send a text with the word "RETURN" to 698-66.