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Major companies have the challenge of creating a compelling story in under a minute that will engage an audience and promote their product. Beer company, Budweiser, did just that with their commercial, “Friends are Waiting.” They produced this for Global Be(er) Responsible Day, in hopes to not only advertise their drinks, but to also bring awareness to the safeties that should be taken with drinking. With the story of a growing puppy and his owner the audience is drawn in to learn the underlying message about alcohol consumption. Between pathos, ethos, logos, and repetition Budweiser balances the story of a loving dog and owners bond, along with advising the responsibility of drinking.
Throughout the commercial it is evident that Budweiser most commonly uses pathos to engage peoples feeling of love toward the dog and its owner. We are first shown the puppy being carried by the owner, making him seem like a prominent character in the story. He begins to remind the audience of their own pets and the first connection they had. From there the bond between owner and dog is displayed through playing in the park, napping together, and the overall growth from puppy to dog. This again connects with the audience bringing back memories of when their pets were small and how much they have helped them to grow. With the added in song lyrics, “You and me we were made for love, A lifetime is not long enough to show you what you mean to me,” and the catchy, upbeat tune, people find themselves humming the lyrics and thinking about the bond in the commercial as well as with their pets. When it comes time for the owner to go out with his friends, the audience finds themselves feeling sorry for the dog as it is left behind after all their adventures. By now they have built a strong connection the dog, and worry with it as we wonder where the owner is all night. By creating this connection Budweiser has created an emotion connection between pet owners and the story in the commercial, keeping them engaged in the transformation as well as the product.
The commercial takes a turn toward ethos when the only wording, “For some, the waiting never ended. But we can change that… make a plan to make it home. Your friends are counting on you,” comes into play. This sets the tone that though Budweiser would like to promote their product, they would like people to enjoy their beer responsibly. This wording is strategically placed in the middle of the wait to see if the owner will return home to his loving companion. Since this is a commercial for Global Be(er) Responsible Day, they use the owner and dogs bond, along with these compelling words, to bring everyone’s attention to the fact that they can drink and still be responsible with their lives. This makes the audience feel a sense of credibility toward Budweiser because they are caring about the impact of their drink just as much as the sales of it.
Budweiser also relayed credibility when they made “Friends are Waiting” into a series of multiple commercials, each showing a different relations of a puppy and its owner. By doing this they enabled a ‘hashtag’ for media, “#FriendsareWaiting”, allowing their product to then be spread and talked about easily across the internet. Being the twenty-first century most young and middle aged adults are up to date with current social media apps, making them very likely to use and promote this hashtag after falling in love with the stories in these commercials. By doing this they can promote their product easily, while also promoting their safe drinking message; again gaining credibility with audience members.
Budweiser relates logic to the social idea that when children are old enough to move out they finally get the chance to own the pet they’ve always wanted. We consistently hear the little kid begging mom and dad for a puppy for their birthday or special holiday; it has become a social norm that when young adults are old enough to get their own place they buy the pet they have been dreaming of. When looking at “Friends are Waiting” the owner is noticeable a young man living in his ‘bachelor pad’ and welcoming his new companion into his life. People, specifically young adults, find this commercial relatable as they look at their furry friend next to them and realize that they are a major part of each other’s life, and would be sad if one was not to come back. They also find it relatable as they are taking on the responsibility of owning their new pet. It is a big obligation taking on a pet, but it is also a big obligation to drink responsibly.
The other logos used in this commercial is the demonstration of the ‘American Dream.’ Since the main character is noticeably a young adult living in what seems like a new home, it is connecting to first time home or apartment owners. This is also a major responsibility for young adults starting off on their own. They finally own their own place so they must take on the ability to grocery shop, clean and pay bills, along with drinking responsible so they don’t mess their new life up. Budweiser can easily relate the obligations of ‘the American Dream’ to reasonable drinking and over Global Be(er) Responsible Day.
Though Budweiser is only seen a few times throughout the commercial, it is strategically placed in key moments to keep it memorable. They keep the theme of safe drinking by showing a minimal amount when friends are hanging out on the water and again when the owner is going out, he only carries a single case. It pops with the color red but then leaves site, giving just enough of a view for the audience to remember the product, Budweiser, but does not take away from the overall safety message. Throughout the commercial they add subtle pops of red through the dog’s color, the owners red blanket and beach towel and the owners red flannel as he leaves to join his friends. Red is a common color associated with Budweiser when thinking about beer companies. By adding these indirect pops of red, the audience is able to easily relate all parts of the commercial to the overall product, Budweiser.
In the commercial “Friends are Waiting,” Budweiser strategically use of pathos, ethos, logos, and repetition, not only to support their beer, but to give the audience a relatable story to remember and a helpful message to keep in mind. By creating this add for Global Be(er) Responsible Day they remind people that there are things more important than just simply drinking the beer; you must think about the ones around you. “Friends Are Waiting” is a creative way for Budweiser to promote their product, and safe drinking, while telling a heartwarming story of a loving dog and his owner.
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