An elaborate Budweiser commercial is a Super Bowl tradition. An elaborate Budweiser commercial crossing over with Game of Thrones’ final season is... not.
During the second quarter of the Rams-Patriots Super Bowl LIII, Anheuser-Busch revealed its annual Big Game spot, once again returning to the medieval land of the “Bud Knight” and ye ol’ age of “dilly dilly.” But this time there was a twist: the Bud Knight’s joust competition was none other than The Mountain, who defeated the brand warrior and gouged out his eyes like Oberyn Martell in Thrones season 4. The spot ends with one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons swooping in to roast the joint. Not even an ice cold beer could quell this fire.
Following the 60-second version released during the game was an extended edition for real Bud-Thrones fans:
According to a press release that followed the debut, the spot was the work of two directors: Bud Light’s Spencer Riviera, who shepherded the original Bud Knight campaign, and David Nutter, the director of “The Red Wedding,” who reunited with more than 25 Game of Thrones crew members to shoot the commercial’s conclusion. Seeing as the marketing for the final season is meant to be mysterious and scarce, show creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss were personally involved with the creation fo the spot. Perfectionists!
The real twist of the spot is that Anheuser-Busch ad executives were wary to embark on the crossover event at all. A Wall Street Journal post-mortem suggests that those running the Bud campaign were wary over allowing The Mountain to mash the Bud Knight into oblivion.
HBO’s Marketing Chief Chris Spadaccini had other thoughts: “The Bud Knight had to die.”
Which is how we wound up with brutal murder on prime time network television.
“That is probably not the best thing to be showing,” Andy Goeler, vice president of marketing for Bud Light, told WSJ.