The veterans of Winter Park, Florida wanted to give a soldier the loving welcome home that they never received. Working with Budweiser as their sponsor, they were able to give 24-year-old Lt. Chuck Nadd "A Hero's Welcome."
Lt. Nadd served in Afghanistan as a Black Hawk helicopter pilot and operations officer for the Army. Before he flew back to Florida, his commanding officer told him that he was chosen to be featured in a documentary about soldiers, and that he would speak at an event for the Veterans of Foreign Wars chapter in his hometown of Winter Park.
He expected to see only his girlfriend, Shannon Cantwell, at the airport when he arrived on Jan. 8. What he didn't expect was to see the entire town of Winter Park assembled to give him an old-fashioned ticker tape parade, complete with marching bands, antique vehicles, the VFW motorcycle club, and Budweiser's famous Clydesdales.
As he rode atop a Budweiser horse-drawn carriage, he spotted his mother, Agnes, who had flown in from Alabama. They soon embraced and cried in each other's arms.
Here's the full 60-second ad:
The ad was originally meant to be 30-seconds, but Budweiser bought an additional 30-second spot during the editing process because it wanted to use as much footage as possible.
The beer company premiered "A Hero's Welcome" exclusively to active and retired military on Thursday through a partnership with id.me.
For more background on Lt. Nadd, his family and friends, his hometown, and Budweiser's campaign, check out this five-minute documentary:
The agency Anomaly produced the ad and documentary, as well as "Puppy Love." The latter went live on Wednesday, and as of early Friday morning it already has 22.9 million views.
Budweiser is promoting "A Hero's Welcome" with the hashtag #Salute, which launches a year-long social media campaign encouraging consumers to honor the U.S. military.
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