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Interview: Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales GM Jeff Knapper and Baby Hope on USA Today’s Top Super Bowl Commercial

By   /   February 8, 2013  /   1 Comment

Like so many people who watch the Super Bowl annually, I not only watch it for the football game, the halftime show, but for the commercials as well. As someone who adores animals, the Clydesdale commercials have always been a favorite. I’m not ashamed to admit this year’s touching commercial had this girl in tears!

Anheuser-Busch’s Clydesdales General Manager Jeff Knapper joined me along with Clydesdale, Darla and her newborn foal who was featured in the Super Bowl commercial that was ranked number one by USA Today’s ad meter.

 

 

Anheuser Busch's GM Jeff Knapper, baby foal and her mother Darla Anheuser Busch's GM Jeff Knapper, baby Clydesdale, Hope and her mother Darla. Hope was only seven days old when she was featured in America's favorite Super Bowl commercial (based on USA Today's ad poll).

Anheuser Busch’s GM Jeff Knapper, baby Clydesdale, Hope and her mother Darla. Hope was only seven days old when she was featured in America’s favorite Super Bowl commercial (based on USA Today’s ad poll).

 

Candace Rose: Like most Americans, my favorite Super Bowl commercial was the Budweiser ad which shows the bond of a trainer with his Clydesdale from birth. Can you tell us about the Clydesdales?

Jeff Knapper: “Sure. Basically the horses you saw in the commercial are all Budweiser Clydesdales owned by Anheuser-Busch. This is the first time we’ve ever featured a seven day old baby in the commercial and then we also had some eight month olds, some two year olds, and our hitch horses range anywhere from four to 15 years of age, so we had a wide variety of ages in this commercial.”

 

Seven day old Clydesdale "Hope" was featured in Anheuser-Busch's Super Bowl commercial.

The beautiful seven day old Clydesdale “Hope” was featured in Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl commercial. Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

 

Candace Rose: The Budweiser Clydesdale ads have been fan favorites for years. How many Super Bowl appearances have they made?

Jeff Knapper: “We’ve made 23 Super Bowl appearances, but there have been almost 125 Clydesdale commercials produced since our debut in 1933 and over the last 80 years.”

 

 

Candace Rose: You invited fans to name the newest Clydesdale using hashtag #Clydesdales on Facebook and Twitter, and you have an exciting announcement for us today. What is that baby Clydesdale’s name?

Jeff Knapper: “Well, after we sorted through 50,000+ suggestions, we narrowed it down to Hope. So we named the new little baby in the commercial, Hope. And really we thought it embodied the commercial, the optimism and that bond between horse and trainer, so that’s what we named her.”

 

Out of thousands of votes, the star of the Super Bowl commercial will now be called Hope! Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

Out of thousands of votes, the star of the Super Bowl commercial will now be called Hope! Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

Candace Rose: Is Hope enjoying the spotlight?

Jeff Knapper: “She’s tired right now. She’s actually behind me, but it’s been a long morning and she’s been relaxing so it won’t be very long. It’s going to be a sunny 50 degree day in Boonville, Missouri and she’ll be out in the pasture relaxing here shortly.”

Candace Rose: What were some of the unique names that you received?

Jeff Knapper: “Some that filtered up quite often was Stan, after Stan Musial. We had a lot of Buddy’s, we had Star, we had Raven. So those were some of the more frequent.”

Hope being bottle fed in Anheuser-Busch's Super Bowl commercial. Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

Hope being bottle fed in Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl commercial. Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

 

Candace Rose: You also have some news about an extended version of the ad from the Super Bowl, which ranks number one on USA Today’s ad meter. Can you tell us about that?

Jeff Knapper: “I sure can. We have a 90 second spot that we released on YouTube.com/Budweiser that is a really more in depth commercial with a lot of footage that we were able to add that tells the story even better. It’s really enjoyable. After our commercial shoot you have so much footage after something like that we thought it’d be a great way to tell a story a little deeper online.”

Clydesdale and trainer being reunited in Anheuser-Busch's Super Bowl commercial. Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

Clydesdale and trainer being reunited in Anheuser-Busch’s Super Bowl commercial. Screenshot courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

 

Candace Rose: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?

Jeff Knapper: “Well, I’d just like to encourage everybody that would make it Central Missouri to join us at Warm Springs Ranch. In Boonville we do tours April 1st through October 31st, and anybody can visit us at WarmSpringsRanch.com.”

Candace Rose: Is it true that you’re expecting more than 30 Clydesdales to be born this year?

Jeff Knapper: “That’s correct. We’ll have over 30 little babies. We already have four, and we kind of thought we might have one last night, but we didn’t. We’ll have another one any day now.”

Candace Rose: Where can viewers go for more information?

Jeff Knapper: “They can go to WarmSpringsRanch.com or to Budweiser.com. Both sites have extensive information on Clydesdales.”

 

*Screenshots and video courtesy of Anheuser-Busch.

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1 Comment

  1. […] and puppies, by none other than Anheuser-Busch. Last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Anheuser Busch’s GM Jeff Knapper and baby Clydesdale, Hope who was featured in one of the best Super Bowl commercials of all time! And not surprisingly at […]

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