Goleta Dalmation, Phoebe, helps tout Budweiser’s ‘clean-energy’ brewing
Of all the “message” ads airing during the Super Bowl, one for Budweiser stood out for making a statement without sounding preachy — and it featured a dog from Goleta.
The Anheuser-Busch brand, which offset electricity use during game week in host city Atlanta by donating “clean” electricity to the city, produced for the Patriots-Rams showdown a spot titled “Wind Never Felt Better,” touting its use of renewable energy in brewing the “King of Beers.”
With Bob Dylan’s “Blowin’ in the Wind” as the sound track, it opens on Bud’s Dalmation “April” ears and jowls flapping in the window. She’s riding atop a red Budweiser wagon being pulled through amber waves of grain by the Budweiser Clydesdales.
The spot, now available on YouTube, closes with a wide shot showing the wagon moving through a wind farm, with the tag line, “Now brewed with wind power for a better tomorrow.”
One of three Super Bowl spots created by the David agency in Miami, the Budweiser ad is the year’s most-watched Super Bowl spot, according to AdWeek, viewed 14 million times on YouTube.
That’s a lot of eyeballs on “April,” played by CH Fyrehouse N Xanadu’s Phoebe, an 8-year-old Dalmation from Goleta, who looks right at home in all that most-likely CG-generated wind.
For Phoebe’s owner, Eleanor Green Winters, 82, landing the spot “was like winning the Dalmation lottery,” she told the News-Press during an interview at her home, Phoebe, content after receiving a treat of a pork rind, resting nearby on a couch.
“But the real story is what Budweiser’s done,” she said. “Our dear planet is in a bit of a mess … We all want to give back, and what a chance.”
Ms. Winters has owned Dalmations her entire life, but at 62 she “retired” into birthing and raising them full-time and got her first pedigree dog. That led to a litter, and after 17 of them in as many years, she used everything she’d learned to self-publish the “rascally” titled “So Your Bitch is Pregnant,” a soft-cover book to help others enjoy what she calls “this wonder of life.” It’s available for $11.95 on Amazon. (The introduction of the book, which was released in January, shows her struggle to get a title. For more, go to soyourbitchispregnant.com.)
“It’s basically something everybody should read if they’re thinking about getting a puppy, because those first eight weeks are extremely important,” Ms. Winters said. “It’s a wonderful, wonderful time. But it’s quite a bit of work, especially after they start eating solid food, because what goes in, comes out.”
“The fun is getting these puppies socialized and getting them to new people,” she said. “They joy of doing it is seeing people’s joy when they get a well-socialized dog.”
The Dalmation “is very affectionate, and they are flashy,” said Ms. Winters. “They are bred to run. They can go from here to Gaviota with a horse in a day, when they’re trained.”
The past 20 years have seen Ms. Winters tapped to provide Dalmations for numerous photo shoots, typically puppies.
“This time they called and wanted an adult,” she said.
Trainers came out, and after putting the dog through some paces, took it and the dog’s daughter, Fancy, who lives in Ventura, for the shoot.
“When you give your dog to somebody, you have to trust them,” said Ms. Winters. “They were wonderful. The dogs had a good time. It was good for them.”
It wasn’t until a commercial tease aired Jan. 23 that Ms. Winters, by way of a friend who forwarded an image, confirmed that Phoebe was appearing in a Budweiser commercial.
“That and having her picture on a marquee in New York on ‘Good Morning America’ was just, I mean, mind-boggling.”
A self-proclaimed “Dalmation nut,” Ms. Winters is happy that a dog she’s put so much love and care into will help share the power of wind to a worldwide audience.
“It’s really giving back,” she said. “They actually are brewing beer with clean electricity. That’s fantastic.”
“That the wind in Phoebe’s face points out how fantastic wind power is, is exciting.”