What Do You Make of This New Budweiser Commercial? (VIDEO)

Brothers? Lovers? Friends? A new Budweiser ad about a soldier returning home from a tour of duty is maddeningly ambiguous about the same-sex relationship at its center. First, here’s the ad. Give it a gander. (It’s restricted-access to ages 21 and older on YouTube, but so is all of Budweiser’s official material.)



The most obvious and straightforward take is that the two men are best friends. But who calls a best friend before one’s own family? Also, there’s something weighted in the initial contact, with the guy back home taking the call in bed. Could it be his brother? Maybe so, but then why would the commercial omit some establishment of that relationship, like, “Hey little brother, mom’s been worried sick?”

Then there’s the actual reunion. The male friend is the surprise-party organizer, and the first to greet the soldier at the door with a warm embrace, followed by a platonic hug from tearful woman (probably a sister), and finally his mother.

What’s remarkable here is not that the commercial is overtly gay—it’s not—but rather that it isn’t overtly heterosexual. It’s overturning our expectation at these cliched scenes, the expectation being that a woman would be the first to greet a soldier upon his return from war.

There are no accidents at this level of advertising. Having seen the new Morgan Spurlock movie, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, I now know all about neuromarketing—where test groups submit themselves to brain scans as they watch dozens of ads just like these, after which the ads are tweaked and fine-tuned to produce exactly the emotional reaction desired.

So don’t ask and don’t tell, ‘cause this Bud’s for you.

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The person could be his brother, long-time best friend, college buddy, fraternity brother, etc. The fact that the call is taken in bed by the guy back home makes sense considering current military actions right now take place half-way around the world hence a time difference. I assumed the house the soldier returns to is his family home or where he lives if he doesn't live at home. The tearful embrace by the woman could be a sister, close female friend, or the girlfriend of the guy he originally called and who organized the party. Quite frankly, I would never have seen anything homosexual in the ad if Seth didn't raise the issue and even if it was intended it wouldn't bother me in the least. At most the person who came up with the ad intentionally made the scenario ambiguous to apply to both the heterosexual and homosexual demographic watching the ad. Or, quite simply, far far more is being read into the ad than was ever intended.
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It's the fact that when the two men embrace they are the only people in the shot that makes it seem a little on the gay side. Every time the soldier is embraced by someone else there's a lot of people in the background.
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I think you're looking a bit to hard at a commercial that's trying to tell an "emotional" story to sell a beer. Even if what you think is true I just have to say...so what? It's not an overtly gay thing that will send "macho" men everywhere into a tissy, and I doubt the commercial itself will bring in more homosexual consumer.
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First off i want to say that i think u have problems if the first thing u thought of was omg this guy could be gay

second i was the first one my best friend told when he was coming home from iraq when he found out and i was also the first one to hug him when he got home i mean the guy is pretty much my brother .... Way to FAIL!!!!
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The best part is I can't find any contact info for the author of this silly article in order to directly ask what the hell he was thinking.
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@woot96 I've been using TV.com as a resource site since it was TVTome (though I never signed up til just recently) and with all the wonderful things it provides entertainment fans, if one article on a commercial is they straw that broke your back... Good riddance. All the rest of us will be here not taking things so seriously. :)
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I have been using TV.com since it was TVTome and ever since then the quality and content has gone downhill. This is just a commerical where Budwieser is showing it's support for the troops, nothing more, nothing less. There is no reason to sensationalize the commerical to try and create a news story out of it. Shame on you TV.com. I am offically switching to TVRage.com for all my television information from now on.
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Really....really you wrote a entire article about this. Wow thats sad that you put this much effort into a commercial and sad that I responded *shakes head* to your nonsense
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Seth, you are a waste of space. Every single one of your "articles" is nothing but amateurish, pointless rambling. I like how you've created a backstory for a commercial, reading into every little detail of a 60-second ad. Your life has real meaning, Seth. Congrats. Don't kill yourself, now.
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Now be fair, we don't know how long it's been since he's had a beer. Getting him something really quality right out of the gate might shock his system. Baby steps.



My question is, what does it matter? A soldier is returning to be with the people he loves. That's all that's important.
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the more important question, the real conundrum we should be trying to wrap out heads around is why does this brother, friend or boyfriend not fork out for some decent beer given the fact that his nearest and dearest is returning from a war... I'd disown, de-friend or dump someone who only bought Bud for a party
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I think you see what you want to see Seth.
Nice to see that you are concerned that there are gay people in this world.
Wow, must be a slow week at TV.com
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Dude, if I came home from war, I would call my best friend before my family too. And if you survived a war, you would hug any friend like you missed them. I don't think there's much more to say about this commercial. Why does it even have to be about gay/straight? It's about a guy coming home to those he love and that includes drinking Budweiser. Choose your battles man.
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I agree 100% with SperryMN (posted 04/27/2011 17:00:41. You guys at TV.com do seem to have become homophobic and hallucinogenic (same with numberonecubsfa - Posted 04/27/2011 16:00:59 - he/she obviously combined the RED & the BLUE pill, thus making no sense whatsoever) - what are you on? I see a best friend or perhaps a Brother.
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Where is it implied that the guy knew before the family. My take is that since it appears that he still lives at home, then the parents already had known that he would be coming home since most military people let their families know when they are getting to come home. He then calls his best "Bud" to let him know. The next scene is them both leaving, the one leaving base and the other leaving home to possibly go to the family's home. Then when you see the parent's talking on the phone it is most likely the friend calling and saying "Let's have a big welcome home party for him", since the other guy is on a plane. The rest is the friend getting everything prepared while the other guy is traveling home. And since this is a Budweiser commercial then who do you want someone to exchange beers with, Best Buds. Which is the point to most Budweiser commercials, to enjoy a cold Budweiser with your best friends
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Unbelievable. Someone who got paid to come up with commercials actually has pride in his work. I love it.
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Oh for Ghu's sake! Have you guys at TV.com become so homophobic that you see gays in everything?

When I came back stateside in the mid-70's, the first person I contacted was my best friend. So what?

This is a non-story.
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Yeah, I totally get what you are saying. We can assume these guys are either gay or best friends but neither is forced here. It is interesting how they left it open for us like that. I also like the song and now I really want to watch that new Morgan Spurlock movie.
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What I want to know is why we're seeing an article about a harmless commercial such as this beer ad, and not one about this infuriating Samsung ad:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aRP_ry_aPlE

I think it's much more important to pick apart such an insulting commercial. This woman is just being beyond manipulative, threatening to break up with him and torturing the guy over some unknown fight. Break up their MARRIAGE. Why are we not seeing some pick apart about how this demonstrates the emascuation of men, or how the institution of marriage is so fragile these days that people are willing to divorce for almost any reason? Come on, Seth, really now. I hope you actually read these comments.
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I think it's cool! Really open for interpretation! Personally I don't think it's explicitly gay The girl seems much happier to see him than the guy! Even more so than the parents so I don't think she's a sister!
Seriously though the elephant in the room! The acting is so bad! When he first spoke I couldn't take it seriously!
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Neuromarketing doesn't work on me thanks to my DVR. Oh, and screw you Seth for tricking me into watching a commercial by implying it was interesting, which it wasn't.
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I really liked this article. Im surprised with all the "who cares". The gay community probably would care, since they have almost zero representativity in the media. But then again, most people don't see them as normal or as minority. Congrats!!!
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Although I'm not going to bash the author for writing it, I agree with some of the others that say this article wasn't really necessary. Sure, it's rare that beer commercials aren't overtly heterosexual, but it also wasn't overtly gay either (if it were, that may warrant an article because it'd be quite rare). I do think the commercial purposely made it a bit ambiguous, so that it may appeal to more larger audiences. I personally thought they were just buds, but that's probably because I (as well as most others) assume heterosexuality unless it's clearly portrayed as something more. Who knows? Maybe they're gay maybe they aren't... but I don't think it was really worth mentioning in a whole article.
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This is the dumbest analysis I have read in weeks, and it's for a bloody commercial. A) Why should anyone care about a commercial on a TV site? B) Whoever wrote this is reading too much into a simple commercial meant to do one thing: compel you to buy budweiser, preferably in large quantities (like the amount used at the surprise party). Aside from that, "hey man, it's me" is the tell-tale sign of this hetrosexual bromance. Chill out, homophobe.
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I'm gay and when watching it I didn't really think it was gay It very well could be though. If so, then cool. I think it can be taken either way, and that may have been the intention.
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cute, and yes who gives a f****
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Who gives a sh*t?
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yeah, it's pretty gay
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Ugh, why suddenly OVER ANALYSIS a nice, touching tribute to our men in the Armed Forces? 1. The guy answered the phone in bed BECAUSE it's the middle of the night. Our hero is 1/2 way across the world, so of course he gets the news in the middle of the afternoon, which is the middle of the night here in the US. Perhaps it is his brother, and he STILL LIVES AT HOME, and he answered the FAMILY phone before others woke up?

2. Even if it WAS his boyfriend, I would think the family would know, if he's the first one to hug him like that. 3. Just remember, you can pick your friends, but you can't pick your family. Perhaps it is his best friend, and he doesn't have a brother, but now his best friend is the closest thing to a brother he has?

Who really cares what the situation is, or perhaps you ARE right, and Budweiser "gave it a few months" and felt the time was right for a "toned down" subtle suggestion of very macho guys being reunited, and acting like totally straight, macho friends do in public? Perhaps there was someone next to him when he called, and his boyfriend realized that and is used to non-romantic talk on the phone?

And finally Seth, what is YOUR sexuality? Are you hetero, and reading too much into this, or homo and some early wishful thinking on your part?
More+
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What the heck is this article doing here? I've seen that commercial a bunch and never once thought 'Hm, are those two more than friends? Wow, what subtle gay advertising!'. I mean really now. Mr. Abramovitch, what were you thinking? You calling attention to it seems a tad homophobic.
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what i make of this is that Seth Abramovitch is quite dumb
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who the heck CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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I have seen this commercial a few times and I've always thought that they were brothers and even if they aren't it isn't that big of a deal.
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Granted, I'm not gay but I would think if that guy was his lover, he would've gotten something a bit more personal than a "Hey man, it's me." Also, how is the guy's hug a warm embrace while the teary-eyed woman's is merely platonic? Sorry, but I think you're really grasping at straws here. I hug my brother like that whenever I see him, and he only lives 250 miles away, and isn't out risking his life for his country. Just sayin'.
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So what's the big deal? Why so much overanalyzing over a commercial only because the soldier hugged a dude first? And what if that was meant to be his boyfriend. Why the big investigation? Would this article have been written had he hugged a woman first? The maddeningly ambiguous commercial of whether this woman is the soldiers girlfriend or sister, it's maddening!
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maybe that's his brother? seems like you just randomly picked this out or something. i don't see anything gay about it, plus i don't know a gay person who calls their boyfriend "man" like guy friends do
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I cant believe you're making a big deal about this seems u want to start a fire with little fuel.
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