COLUMBIA — Budweiser paid homage to Warm Springs Ranch, a Clydesdale breeding center west of Columbia, in this year's Super Bowl ad, "Puppy Love."
The beginning of the Budweiser spot displays a sign reading “Warm Springs Adoption Center,” a tribute to the ranch, but the mountains in the background testify that the actual filming took place in California.
Warm Springs Ranch, located on Highway 98 near Boonville, became Budweiser's only breeding facility in 2008. At the age of 2, if the gelding meets the Budweiser requirements, he will be prepped for stardom at one of three training facilities across the nation. The Clydesdales in this year's spot were born either in Warm Springs or at the former breeding facility in California.
The commercial, shown at the end of Sunday's football game, is built around a playful encounter between a yellow Lab and one of the company's iconic Clydesdales.
Budweiser unveiled a video of the commercial on YouTube on Wednesday. It has racked up 38 million views since then and was named the best Super Bowl ad by multiple media sources, including a viewer survey conducted by Hulu.
USA Today's Ad Meter, based on viewer surveys, also declared it the 2014 winner.
Warm Springs Ranch has appeared in previous successful Budweiser spots. In 2013, a newborn foal at the ranch was featured in the commercial that aired during Super Bowl XLVII. The spot also featured a number of pictures of the ranch.
According to a behind-the-scenes video posted by Budweiser, Wyoming animal trainer Robin Wiltshire prepares the horses for the commercials. In the 2014 version, he taught them to jump fences and interact with the puppies.
“These Clydesdales love puppies,” Wiltshire said in the video, referring to the horses as “gentle giants.”
The puppies were provided by a breeder in Oregon. The dogs were schooled over a four-week period by Sue Chipperton, a California-based animal trainer who also coached the chihuahuas used in Taco Bell commercials and "Legally Blonde."
On Thursday, Budweiser launched a Twitter account, @BudweiserPuppy, about the dog. The Twitter campaign uses puppies from Southern Paws Animal Rescue, a shelter just east of St. Louis, in addition to those from the Oregon breeder featured on the commercial.