—Budweiser reprised a famous moment from Independence Day, but Craig Redmond isn’t sure if it’s sentimentality or satire—
The first Independence Day was 245 years ago. The second was 220 years later. Well, in movie form that is.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of the release of the film that pitted Americans against alien enemies of a less British pedigree and, of course, featured the famous flag-wrapping, gun-gripping, goosebump-birthing call to Independence Day arms by its thespian president, Bill Pullman.
I swear to God, you could hear the jeers and cheers echoing from across every border town cinema along the 49th parallel that fateful July 4 in 1996. And I’ll bet more than a few backwoods militias rallied the troops to battle the interstellar threat for reals.
And now, after what seems to be victory over America’s greatest real alien invader, Covid, Budweiser has enlisted Mr. Pullman to recreate that magical make-believe moment for its latest Independence Day celebration.
What emerges instead, however, is a murky mix of sentimentality and satire, nationalism and inclusion—as long as inclusion means uniting hybrid and pickup truck drivers, vegans and carnivores, or rednecks and people who can actually pronounce America—and a head-scratching vacillation between self-deprecation and hubris.
It screams of a marketing department trembling in anticipation of an unpredictable earthquake of ridicule and/or praise. So, they crammed it all in just to cover their asses, and then tied it all up with a cringeworthy patriotic pun of a bow.
In deference to the original intent of that declaration of independence nearly a quarter millennia ago, and whose authors would likely be mortified by what is happening to their country and its democratic principles today, I offer up two, opposing marketing party perspectives on America the Great.
One that sells beer.
Budweiser: Go Fourth America 2021
And one that sold ratings.
The Newsroom. Pilot Episode, 2012
You choose which definition of America is greater.
Craig Redmond is a creative leader with Palmer Stamnes and Co, an independent family of marketing communication companies.