That was last May. Several months later, Mr. Marques said, the company landed on the idea of telling a heartfelt story about its founder. It then spent months gathering feedback before shooting the spot in early January.
Budweiser could not have foreseen the roiling sociopolitical debate that would be unfolding when the ad aired, shortly after President Trump moved to sharply limit immigration. Nor could it anticipate the viral effect of the spot, which showed Adolphus Busch’s journey to the United States from Germany in the 1850s and the discrimination he overcame on his way to success.
“This was not something we came up with at the last minute to make any sort of political statement,” Mr. Marques said. As the conversation around immigration changed in the past month, Budweiser “didn’t consider, at any point in time, not running the ad,” he said.
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