Put another gold star next to the name of the Budweiser Clydesdales in the book of great marketing ideas accomplished with horses. The iconic symbol of American beer and stars of Super Bowls past rolled out a new campaign today along with Budweiser's entry into the Twittersphere.
The brewery would like you to use a hashtag to name the foal, who will star in Sunday's commercial.
There is just no question that the marketing and advertising surrounding the Super Bowl is more interesting than the game itself usually turns out to be. If you needed proof of that, look no farther than into the eyes of the Clydesdale foal.
It's enough to make horselovers cancel a ride or time at the barn in order to watch a football game.
This year is the 80th Anniversary of the Budweiser Clydesdales hitch, so you knew that there was something special in the pipeline.
First of all, Budweiser has never had a Twitter account before. I know that when I started following them this morning, I was #1,430 on their follower list. By lunchtime, they had 300 more followers. At this rate, how long do you think it will be before this promotion--and the public's generation affection for all things Budweiser--sends their follower list over a million?
The nameless colt was born on January 16 at the hitch's breeding facility at their Warm Springs Ranch outside St. Louis. Seven days later, it was a bona fide tv star, posing for the commercial film crew.
This year's commercial will focus on the horse-human bond between a hitch gelding and his trainer, and will show several look-alike Clydes of different ages going through the training process to become a member of the hitch.
This is the Clydesdales' 23rd Super Bowl spot; they first appeared in 1986. And their commercials are among the most memorable in Super Bowl history. My favorite was the one about the veterinarian making a "house call" to assist a mare in delivering a foal.
I thought this fact was fascinating: Budweiser's Twitter channel debuted only after the social media platform introduced age verification, allowing the beer to restrict its tweets to users 21 and older. That seems kind of sad, to me, since I know how many kids out there love the hitch, and the breed.
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Cooper has been on The Jurga Report before; we announced his birth in 2009, and here's a video to give you more information about foaling in the operation.
How is the baby Clydesdale featured in the commercial doing? Both mother, a seven-year-old mare named Darla, and baby are doing well, reports John Soto ?supervisor of the breeding operation
"We have had two foals born so far this year and they're both doing very well," Soto said.
When a foal is born, the first thing they look for--after its safety and health in the foaling stall--are whether the foal has the proper markings for a Budweiser Clydesdale - a bay coat, a blaze of white on the face, four white stocking feet, and a black mane and tail. The newborns with the right markings join a select group of candidates for a future spot on one of the traveling hitches.
Budweiser could continue to feature this foal through the next year's of his life so we can see how he develops and if he makes the grade. What fun it would be to see him in the hitch someday!