Don’t act like you didn’t tear up at last year’s Budweiser Super Bowl commercial where the horse trainer is reunited with the Clydesdale he raised.
This year, the horses are back – and they’re bringing puppies with them.
The 2014 Super Bowl ad, titled “Puppy Love,” (which airs on Super Bowl Sunday but can be seen early above!) continues the story of last year’s spot and takes place at the Budweiser Clydesdale breeding ranch. Actor Don Jeanes reprises his role as the horse trainer and he stars alongside a 10-week-old puppy who bonds with the big horses.
“I think there was a mutual curiosity going on there,” Jeanes tells PEOPLE about the puppies and horses. “It was probably more one-sided on the puppies side, being so new in the world and curious about everything. The Clydesdales were very well trained and would look exactly where they were told, but a slight curiosity did spark. There was a lot of sniffing going on.”
The actor jokes that, despite his experience, he had to fight the urge to scoop up the puppies while shooting.
“Keeping the animals free of distraction is imperative to get them to focus on their task, so no one was allowed to pet the puppies while they were working, not even me,” he says. “I would equate it to having a tray of warm fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies at a party, but no one is allowed to eat them. Thankfully, the trainers were kind enough to let everyone interact with the animals after they were done for the day and we all had a good pet.”
Sue Chipperton and Deborah Dellosso trained the litter of eight Labrador puppies who appear in the ad. When training began, the puppies were just 9-weeks-old.
“The puppies reacted fabulously to the Clydesdales,” says Chipperton. “I was amazed at how brave and outgoing they were around these huge horses. They wanted to engage with them and were very excited to be in their presence.” (Who wouldn’t be?)
And it was the animals’ interactions that made the TV magic, says the dogs’ trainer.
“It’s special because the connection was natural, it wasn’t forced a sweet moment from a gentle horse and an adventurous puppy.” says Chipperton.
“With this commercial, you got a sense of how special it was as you were shooting it – no need to look at playback on a monitor. It was different, the whole feel was that this is going to be exceptional and so incredibly cute.”