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Real Men of Genius

Series of commercials for Bud Light beer.

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Real Men of Genius? Heck Yes!

  • May 3, 2009
Beer drinker or not, you know you love those Bud Light Real Men of Genius commercials.  You know, the ones that make you snicker every time you hear them on the radio or see them on TV.  The minute-long ones that start out with a slow drum beat intro that lead into some mellow piano playing, and an announcer with an incredibly deep voice saying, "Budweiser presents: Real Men of Genius.  Today we salute you, Mr. *insert obscure occupation or role*", only to be followed by Dave Bickler (that's right, of Survivor fame!) echoing the announcer's every wry sentiment, soulfully, in song.  And sometimes if we're lucky, an all-female chorus echoes those sentiments as well, gospel style.  Yup, those Budweiser commercial.

Believe it or not, these Real Men of Genius were not always called so.  At its inception in 1999, they were actually called Real American Heroes.  It wasn't until the term, "Real American Heroes" took on a new, more serious, meaning after 9/11 that Budweiser decided to change it to Real Men of Genius, out of respect for the REAL heroes of America.  No loss there, though, not only because it was a very commendable act, but also because "Genius" is a much more appropriate term to refer to these men being saluted than "Heroes".  Another upgrade to this series occurred in 2003, when Budweiser decided to put visuals to these jingles by making TV commercials instead of just radio ads, thus allowing viewers to watch the awesomeness unfold right in front of their eyes.  Though, honestly, merely listening to these jingles is already good enough for me!

These commercials have spawned countless parodies on YouTube, including Mr. Falls Asleep During Everything Guy and Mr. Really Really Ridiculously Hard Test Question Writer.  There are even fansites dedicated to these commercials, and through one of them, I was able to score a few for my iPod.  I love Mitch Hedberg, and Dane Cook's alright, but sorry, they've got nothing on these Real Men of Genius commercials.  I would much rather listen to these commercials on loop than their albums, especially on road trips.  What better way to kill time on the road than by listening to beer commercials about unsung heroes wrought with wry commentary, only to have those sentiments echoed by the guy who sang Eye of the Tiger, culminating in a jingle that sounds like the cheesiest 80's rock power ballad ever?  Oh, and by cheesy, I meant, TOTALLY AWESOME.

Though these duds may be dubbed the Real Men of Genius by Budweiser, you know who I think the Real Men of Genius are?  The men behind these Real Men of Genius ads, that's who.  Somebody on YouTube better be working on a parody of Mr. Budweiser Commercial Thinker Upper!

I feel that the most appropriate way to end this review is by highlighting a few of my favorites:

  • Mr. 80 SPF Sunblock Wear: "SPF 30?  You might as well be wearing cooking oil".
  • Mr. Nudist Colony Activity Coordinator: "Sure, there's danger.  Vinyl chairs, sun burns, chaffage.  And lawn darts?  Completely out of the question".
  • Mr. Airport Baggage Handler: "When comforting a traveler about a lost bag or a treasured family pet, you need only remember three simple words, 'Airline not responsible'".
  • Mr. Used Car Lot Auto Salesman: "Slicked back hair, a sharkskin suit, alligator boots.  You cultivate a look that oozes, 'Trust me'".
  • Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor: "Some may ask, 'Is your taco salad healthy?'  Of course it is.  It's a salad, isn't it?"
  • Mr. Chinese Food Deliver Guy: "Armed with your rickety bike, you battle traffic, bad weather, and the occasional busted elevator, and why do you do it?  Because somewhere, a guy is waiting for his kung pow crab puffs and he's got $1.57 with your name on it".

And for your viewing pleasure, a compilation of six of their TV ads:


If you enjoyed those, you can find almost every one of their radio and TV ads on YouTube ;)
Dave Bickler for Budweiser Real Men of Genius

What did you think of this review?

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November 17, 2012
I haven't heard one of these in awhile. Thanks for the throwback!
December 11, 2011
Informative review !
February 13, 2010
Sorry I am not a drinker but nice review anyway.
February 14, 2010
You don't need to be a drinker to enjoy these commercials! ;)
December 30, 2009
YES! Go Debbie Go! Gotta Tweet this one...
February 14, 2010
Whoa, just noticed this. Thanks for the tweet anyhow! ;)
November 09, 2009
I loved your review but I hate those commericals. Funny how things strike people differently. I just shake my head everytime I hear one of these spots and wonder what the world is coming to. Unfortunately I think I know now.
November 09, 2009
Thanks, Paul!  Maybe the Dos Equis Most Interesting Man in the World commercials might strike you differently.  He's classier and definitely more cultured than these Real Men of Genius! ;)
August 24, 2009
Classic. Thanks for the reminder. These are the best thing that Anheiser Busch manufactures! :D

Number 6 is the funniest one in the compilation.  Where did you download the radio ads??
November 09, 2009
Thanks!  Whoa, I don't know how I missed your comment, but I've found some on Limewire and I believe that there are various sites out there dedicated to solely providing downloads for these commercials!
November 25, 2009
I think I agree with you about these being their best products, haha. Nice review, Devora!
May 15, 2009
haha! These are hilarious. I think I heard one on the radio the other day? I like how they kept the theme (even though the name changed)--so many products switch to new commercials all the time. I mean, I miss the Snapple lady!
May 16, 2009
Awww, Snapple lady. Somebody needs to write a review on her!
May 20, 2009
i heard another ad on the radio! "Overly-competitive-touch-football-guy" hahahah!
May 20, 2009
:o must YouTube!
May 15, 2009
I love those commercials (and the beer)! "Mr. Giant Foam Finger Maker" was one of my favorites. I think that one is from back in the '90's.
May 16, 2009
May 04, 2009
I love these commercials! (even though I don't drink bud-anything) Entertaining and effectively communicates their brand! The tongue in cheek approach works every time it's tried, unfortunately not too many make the effort in producing creative advertising!
May 05, 2009
If only there was a fun winery that would make commercials like these! But I guess they're all too classy :P
May 06, 2009
Alas, that may be true here in the U.S. but the in Spain they make Cava look pretty titillating! Check this vid... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HDK7NiQ8hc
May 06, 2009
Oh, Europeans :P
May 03, 2009
pretty good, Devora. way to break it down. advertising certainly has grown to near-cinematic experiences these days..
May 03, 2009
Haha, thanks!  And yes, they sure have, though I haven't seen anything as good as these Real Men of Genius ads yet.  Dos Equis' ads are pretty good though.
More Real Men of Genius reviews
Quick Tip by . November 10, 2009
posted in Awesomeness
Mr. Giant Taco Salad Inventor!!!!
About the reviewer
devora ()
Ranked #4
When I'm not Lunching, I'm a jeweler, and an all around, self-proclaimed web geek. My passions include social media, the interweb, technology, writing, yoga, fitness, photography, jewelry, fashion, … more
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Real Men of Genius is a series of one-minute-long American radio advertisements for Bud Light beer created by Bob Winter, a copywriter at DDB Chicago. Each sixty-second ad pays mock tribute to an "unsung hero". The series began in 1999 and was originally called Real American Heroes. The name was changed after the 9/11 attacks, as Anheuser-Busch felt that they could not morally continue to use the term "hero" in that context after so many people had performed what many felt to be genuine acts of heroism. Over 100 installments in the series have been produced. Winter's campaign has since become the most award-winning radio campaign in the history of advertising. Television versions have also been produced of some of these spots beginning in 2003. The first two TV versions were "Mr. Footlong Hot Dog Inventor" and "Mr. Really Bad Toupee Wearer".

The ads feature an announcer (Pete Stacker) and former Survivor singer Dave Bickler who echoes the announcer's sentiments over piano music. The music was composed by Sam Struyk and Sandy Torano at Scandal Music, Chicago. A female gospel-style chorus is also heard in many of the ads.

The popularity of the series, which is seen as a parody of 1980s beer advertising (including Budweiser's own from that era), led to many of the commercials being traded on peer to peer file sharing networks.

Starting in 2006 some of the commercials were recorded as 30 second spots. This was done to accommodate the desire of Clear Channel Radio and other radio ...
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