Bud Light Class
A Closer Look at Commercials
Published: October 26, 2010
by Laura Joy Perales
From the Ten Superbowl XLI Commercials (2007), I chose to analyze #7, an Anheuser-Busch Budweiser commercial advertising for Bud Light. I was excited about this assignment because ever since I began learning different shot angles and techniques, I’m always trying to figure out what a filmmaker did, calling out shots I can identify, and belaboring over how a special effect was created. It was fun to try my first official commercial analysis!
Story-line Summary: The setting is a classroom full of males that the instructor immediately addresses as “class”, setting us up for some teaching. It plays off of an English Language Learner class, where non-native speakers are taught via repetition how to ask for a Bud Light in different regions of America, comically toying with colloquialism. After teaching how to ask for a Bud Light in the South, New York, and East L.A., the instructor delivers his most important piece of guidance; when asked for a Bud Light, pretend you don’t speak English. The scene appears to end with a visual of the beer bottle, full glass, and a textual caption. Suddenly, the teacher and a student are now in a bar drinking Bud Light and practicing how to say it.
1) The Establishing Shot opens up with more of a Lead the Eye technique, using the aisle in the classroom to draw our focus to the “teacher” up front
2) cuts to a Close Shot of the teacher in the center of the frame, breaking the rule of thirds to serve its purpose
3) cuts to a POV Shot, where the teacher sees the class repeating after him
4) cuts to another Close Shot, in which the teacher enters the frame beginning his line
5) continues by cutting to an Over the Shoulder Shot of the teacher finishing his line, allowing the student at the right of the frame to repeat after him
6) cuts to a slight Low Angle/Close Shot, emphasizing the domineering position of the teacher
7) continues with filmmaker recreating shot 5 with new lines
8) cuts to a Medium-Long Shot with the subject centered in the frame walking towards the camera to its left as it remains in a fixed position
9) Cuts to another Close Shot very briefly
10) Cuts to the same POV Shot as used in shot 3
11) Change of Scene: Liquid transition to Full Shot of bottle and glass of Bud Light lined up correctly using the rule of thirds
12) Change of Scene: Cuts to a Two-Shot of the instructor and a student at the bar
Effective Elements: The arrangement of characters in this commercial keeps it interesting. I think my favorite part was that the filmmaker repeated the Over the Shoulder and POV shot techniques. There was some continuity within the silly content. That is another positive element in this commercial. The mood and tone are ultimately serious throughout, while the actual “conversation” taking place is humorous. Because the scene unfolds naturally, mimicking a traditional classroom, the filmmaker makes you laugh without forcing it on you. In the opening shot, the back lighting of the windows in the classroom highlights the teacher, but the students, non-central at this point, appear almost as silhouettes. There were some little extras included in the shots that added authenticity, like the wall clock the used white board.
Top ten superbownl xli commercials. (2007). [Web]. Retrieved from
Author: Laura Joy Perales
Published: October 26, 2010 in Perception
Volume 1: Issue 7