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2017 Super Bowl commercial: Budweiser offers important message on welcoming immigrants

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Super Bowl 51 is three days away, and for many folks that don’t have a rooting interest in the game, the commercials are what they will enjoy the most. There are always a host of entertaining ads, some fairly basic, others a bit more provocative. In recent years, we have seen commercials released more frequently before game day, and one of this year’s earliest releases is a front-runner for most provocative.

Budweiser ads are a staple of the Super Bowl, and one of their ads for the 2017 Super Bowl is about immigrants. America is a nation built on immigrants (among others), but the country has a lengthy history of mistreatment of newcomers. Whether it be blacks, Irish, Germans, or Jews in the past, Muslims in recent years, immigrants have often faced a tough welcome.

This ad points back to when Adolphus Busch came to America from Germany. He emigrated to St. Louis at the age of 18, and the ad shows people yelling things like, "You're not wanted here! Go back home!" Amidst the insults and slurs, he makes his way to Missouri where he meets Eberhard Anheuser in a bar, and is offered a beer. The rest as they say, is history.

Anheuser-Busch has pushed Budweiser as the American beer, even going so far as to re-brand it “America” at one point last year. At the end of the day, they want to sell beer. However, in light of the backlash toward immigrants and refugees, as well as the growing support from many for these vulnerable populations, this ad is a fitting tribute to the American experience, both good and bad.

Super Bowl 51 comes at a time when there is considerable turmoil in America. Given what has transpired over the past two weeks, it will be interesting to see what other commercials bring on Sunday, what Lady Gaga has at halftime, and if we see any player demonstrations, similar to what we have seen at times this season.

In the meantime, I highly recommend giving this a watch. While Anheuser-Busch is looking to use Super Bowl ads to continue building their brand, this one in particular reminds us of the importance of newcomers as part of American history.