You Can Do it Hank!

The commercial tracks closely to the viral experience architecture discussed in this week’s reading as well as few of Pixar’s Rules of Storytelling. The story unfolds with Hank, a Clydesdale horse, who isn’t picked to pull the Budweiser Cart. The element of surprise is introduced early on in two forms: 1.) When Hank isn’t picked for the hitch team and 2.) He gets an unlikely coach, a Dalmatian.

The Original Video

The Plot Play-by-Play

Below is a summary of the plot using the Story Spine.

•(0:00 – 0:05) – The Budweiser Team announces that the final horse for this year’s hitch team is Thunder. [The Beginning]
•(0:05 – 0:10) – In an unexpected twist, you realize that the main character, Hank, doesn’t make the hitch team and gets a skeptical “maybe next year Hank….” Sad music starts to play. A dalmation is looking on in the background. [Once Upon a Time…there lived a horse named Hank who wanted to be a Budweiser Clydesdale]
•(0:10 – 0:15) – You see Hank look at the selected horses and go off by himself. As Rule #15 states, “If you were your character, in this situation, how would you feel? Honesty lends credibility to unbelievable situations.” Hank’s reaction is very similar to a human who isn’t selected for something. [And every day…Hank has had this dream – and may have even tried out for the team in previous years]
•(0:15 – 0:20) – Hank is approached by the same dalmation who excitedly barks at Hank. The video shows a close-up of Hank who no longer looks sad but has a look of understanding and determination on his face. [The Event]
•(0:20 – 0:25) – You see the two walk off so you know that an agreement/decision has been made. [Until one day…Hank gets a coach]
•(0:25 – 0:30) – The theme song from the movie Rocky starts playing and you see Hank and his coach training. [The Middle]
•(0:30 – 0:35) – The training continues as you see Hank attempting new training exercises like pulling a flat bed train car. Pixar’s Rule #1 comes into play: You admire Hank for trying more than for his success. [And because of this…Hank trains]
•(0:35 – 0:40) – Hank continues with the training, this time during a winter scene, so you know that his dedication has spanned several months. [And because of this…Hank trains some more]
•(0:40 – 0:45) – As the Rocky theme song reaches its climax, the video shows Hank pulling a full train car, indicating just how far he has come with his training. [The Climax] [And because of this…Hank shows a TON of improvement]
•(0:45 – 0:50) – The screen indicates that a full year has passed and you catch a glimpse of a horse being led out of the barn by the Budweiser team.
•(0:50 – 0:55) – Victory music starts playing in the background and one of the Budweiser guys says, “Welcome Aboard Hank!” [Until finally…Hank makes the hitch team]
•(0:55 – 1:00) – Hank and his coach high five – hoof to paw – indicating victory and a coach/athlete bond that most can empathize with. [The (Happy) Ending] [And ever since that day…Hank and his coach have a special bond]


One thought on “You Can Do it Hank!

  1. A classic shape of a story (and I favor ones where the dog is a hero). There is something about the personification of human traits in animals, right? Even without the music, it is totally the Rocky story. And that still makes it enjoyable even if we know what is most likely going to happen, it ‘s the how, the training stunt sequences that make this fun.

    Did you get anything more of an understanding about the way the story is done? There are some great examples of shifting camera shots to express perspectives of the characters.

    Excellent job to analyze the points of the story and match it to the spine.

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