Super Bowl 71 aired last Sunday and a lot happened. Tom Brady won his 5th Super bowl title, Lady Gaga jumped off the top of the stadium and the commercials were epic, especially the commercials with animals. One in particular really stuck out to people. We’re talking about Spuds Mackenzie, the Bud Light ghost dog.
After nearly two decades Spuds Mackenzie has finally rises from the ashes, although some of you younger chaps may have no idea he ever existed at all.
So who is Spuds Mackenzie? His first appearance was in the 1987 Super Bowl commercial, which led to his inevitable success on television. He appeared on talk shows with Dick Clark and even scored his own plush toy deal. He went on to inspire parodies on animated series like Futurama, The Simpsons, and Family Guy. Before Bullseye the Target dog, there was Spuds MacKenzie, the king English Bull Terrier.
Spuds is back in a big way, but why now?
“The ad seeks to tie into Bud Light’s new “Famous Among Friends” campaign by using ghost Spuds to lure a man back out with his friends after he was resigned to spend a night in. Anheuser Busch InBev’s Bud Light VP Alex Lambrecht said Spuds’ return is a one-time event designed only for the Super Bowl ad, which will not be put into regular rotation after the game,” says Ad Age.
“We wanted to do something that is appropriate to the cultural moment and we feel the Super Bowl is that perfect moment to make a statement,” said Bud Light VP Alex Lambrecht to Ad Age.
Ghost doggy, Spuds is voiced by Carl Weathers, who is known for playing roles like, Apollo Creed, in the Rocky franchise and one handed golf player, Chubs, in Happy Gilmore. The real Spuds, is nothing like Carl Weathers. She’s a girl dog named “GiGi.”
Spuds was such a big deal after the 1987 Super Bowl commercial, he was credited with helping boost Bud Light sales by 20 percent between 1987 and 1988. Hopefully the company will have as much success with Spuds in 2017 but less stress.
Anheiser-Bush (Bud Light’s company) was targeted by critics, who argued that Spuds Mackenzie promoted underage drinking. Republican Senator Strom Thurmond took his opinion on the ad to the Senate floor in 1987. “I am fully cognizant of the free-speech rights of the alcohol beverage industry,” he said, according to an account from the Associated Press. “However, what is the cost to society of this freedom to advocate unlawful teenage drinking?” Spuds Mackenzie gear, including T-shirts, mugs and toys caused much debate over underage drinking promotion.
Although Spuds Mackenzie might not have as much of an impact in 2017 as in 1987 but it doesn’t mean his ghostly charm and adorable advice disappointed any viewers, in fact it was one of the top favorites amount the other Super Bowl ads. Thanks for visiting Spuds, see you in the next 10 years.