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Tears of Unbridled Joy -- Yes, America Gets Emotional Over a Beer Commercial

"A Clydesdale's Journey" The Comeback Story Overflowing with Delight

Budweiser delights viewers with its Super Bowl LVI Commercial

"A Clydesdale's Journey" The Comeback Story Overflowing with Delight

BOYNTON BEACH, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES, February 11, 2022 / -- A horse and a dog along with a message of strength and resilience where "the home of the brave, and down never means out” will absolutely deliver unprecedented levels of Joy to the American public this Super Bowl Sunday, our emotional analysis reports. Depicting a classic comeback story that Americans adore, this story of a Clydesdale’s resilience in the face of injury is arousing deep Joy amongst its viewers, as indicated by our recent EmotionTrac study. From the highly visceral, visual landscape to the tension built by the story, viewers agree that a potent level of Joy is induced by this spot.

“A Clydesdale’s Journey,” directed by Chloé Zhao and produced by Vayner Media, this Budweiser spot defies our database benchmarks, sending the Joy metric off the charts. Even well-known TV personality Al Roker said, “…it was a real tearjerker” when the spot premiered on his show.

In the minute-long “A Clydesdale’s Journey” the well-branded horse is galloping full speed and is suddenly injured and falls to the ground. His handlers watch sadly (while they sip on a couple of bottles of Bud!) as he suffers while painfully returning to full health. Upon rising back to his feet in his comeback, the horse, with a whinny, stirs the group to welcome the Joy of his revival. Indeed, this rebirth story is a powerful hook in arousing boundless Joy among viewers. But our story does not end here. By stimulating such a deeply Joyful connection with viewers, the Budweiser brand earned a forever place in their hearts and heads. This spot sparks what we call a fully emotionally engaged customer—in other words, a huge fan of your brand.

Advertising that transcends entertainment with a focus on evoking human emotion, and makes people feel good will ultimately account for brand preference. In fact, emotional appeal campaigns are your secret weapon to getting into the hearts and minds of prospective customers. Sentimentally based advertising urges customers to buy products and services by triggering emotions rather than awakening rational thoughts. As such, the value of Emotional appeal cannot be urged enough in your messaging. It is the tool that binds you with your audience (users.) According to survey results published by Statista Research USA, the major motivator for shoppers in the United States is the feeling of Joy. In fact, according to, an emotional approach in advertising is nearly twice as effective as a rational approach.

In short, whether this commercial will make every person’s next beer buy a Bud, is unclear. What is for certain, however, is the intense emotional bond created in the heart and brain will drive positive brand association, recall and intent, probably forever.

These results clearly confirm the urgency to “test before you spend.” Why wait until after the Super Bowl to find out whether consumers liked your commercial;” said Aaron Itzkowitz, EmotionTrac’s CEO. “It’s the one day a year where people actually engage in the ads, so it would make sense to assess the ads beforehand.”

Shelli Garson, Director of Insights, who has spent 25 years conducting Creative Research at agencies like Saatchi, Bates, Ayer, and McCann, likes to stress that “this tool is the deepest diving, most emotionally revealing, highly reliable and quickest way to utilize artificial intelligence emotion recognition to collect critical quantitative data that will positively inform creative development and placement.”

With $6.5 million being spent on a 30 second commercial during Super Bowl LVI and an average total ad cost of more than $10 million, collecting valuable insights prior to spending significant advertising dollars is critical to the success of any ad campaign. Upon completing a test with EmotionTrac, the advertiser holds the critical insights as to whether to go ahead with advertising as is, or to review, perfect and re-test until they achieve the best results.

About EmotionTrac:
EmotionTrac, which developed an AI Facial Coding Analysis platform, performed an independent test of the Budweiser ad using their CampaignTester mobile app. The panel audience, consisting of both men and women equally, has them opt-in to allow the front-facing camera of their device to collect their subconscious Emotional reactions to the commercial content. EmotionTrac then interprets the micro facial expressions using an array 20 different sentiments collected, by frame. Beyond capturing authentic Emotional Intelligence, the tool also reports Appeal, Brand Recall, Attention, Brand Intent, Humor, Immersion, Social Media Value, and Curiosity, among other key metrics.

Ebony Hunter
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Watch Budweiser's A Clydesdale's Journey