There have been a number of companies who have linked their marketing campaigns to animals and their endearing ways. None more successfully than Anheuser-Busch and their Clydesdales.
And the beer company takes excellent care of its famous equine symbols. Six feet tall at the shoulder and weighing 2,000 pounds, they aren’t intimidating nor are they intimidated by humans – in fact, when there are humans around, the Clydesdales are very personable, walking up, putting their noses down and sniffing them as if to say, “nice to meet you,” (ref Progressive Farmer). Anheuser keeps their horses at Warm Springs Ranch in Boonsville, Missouri. Mark Boese, head manager for the famous Budweiser Clydesdales says that, “You can walk into a field with a Clydesdale and – unlike most horses – they don’t run away; they come to you.” At Warm Springs, they have the run of 300 acres of pastureland and the 50 – 60 pounds of timothy hay that they eat each day – whether in the ranch barns or when they travel for business – is imported from a single select farm in Eden, Idaho. And the 8 pounds of daily ration they consume each day contains the highest-quality oats. The immaculately-kept stalls are bedded in shaved wood and the aisles between the stalls are swept and vacuumed. A farrier comes every six weeks to pamper their feet (which are the size of dinner plates). And, of course, a veterinarian is on call 24/7. When the Clydesdales prance down a parade route pulling the Budweiser beer wagon, they wear leather and polished brass harnesses that are custom made and cost $12,000. each. The teams travel in a caravan of three red and silver semitrailers with the breed’s name and beer brand on the sides. The trailers are air-conditioned and have special flooring to ease the rigors of traveling and they stop every two hours so that the horses can take a break. And there are many more amenities that make the Clydesdales’ live comfortable. So, even though they “work for their living,” no element of their comfort and care is overlooked. Overall, I find it a fascinating glimpse at one of the most successful advertising arrangements of all times.
ALL THE MOVING PARTS . . .