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]