An Army veteran’s viral video is stepping on the heels of a paid advertisement from one of the best-known beer companies in the world, and it is probably no surprise to anyone in the military community.
Army veteran Mat Best honored America’s fallen troops in his latest Facebook video that has since gone viral with more than 12 million views. Budweiser, one of America’s most advertised brands, also released a Memorial Day video, which focused on American veterans, and it received 16 million views on Facebook.
However, one wrinkle is that, due to some confusion on copyright law, Best’s video was removed from Facebook for approximately 24 hours around 7:00 a.m. EST on Memorial Day, which cut off the incredible momentum that the video was experiencing.
At the time of being temporarily removed from Facebook, Best’s video already had roughly 10-11 million views. The video was allowed back on Facebook the morning after Memorial Day.
While sometimes one never knows just how well anything will do across social media platforms, Best expected this video to do well because of its genuine message. “I really, truly believe in the message,” Best told American Military News in a phone interview.
“I believe the day is about remembering sacrifice, remembering that every freedom we can enjoy on a consistent basis, not just on Memorial Day, is because men and women raise their right hand to serve this country and give everything,” Best said, “and I don’t take that subject very lightly.”
Best said they are trying to give back to the community with “content that speaks to our hearts.”
Best’s video shows that the power of authenticity can sometimes stand toe-to-toe with agency-driven marketing.
Anheuser-Busch InBev (abbreviated as AB InBev), a Belgium-based company, owns Budweiser, Bud Light, Michelob, Shock Top, Busch, Natural Light, Stella Artois and more.
The Belgium-based company has much cause to put money behind social media marketing campaigns, since Memorial Day is the second largest holiday of the year for beer sales, next only to the Fourth of July.
Known for his comedic military and gun-based joke videos that have received millions of views on Facebook and YouTube, Best took a more serious side in his latest video that really hits home with those who understand the sacrifices that United States military service members make for their country.
Memorial Day is about remembering sacrifice, Best told American Military News.
His latest video is part of his “I Choose Life” series of videos. The undertone is to approach veterans suicide in a “light manner,” Best explained, where “community and positive thinking” are “at the forefront of rectifying that issue.”
Best wanted to make sure people saw his most recent video as coming from the heart, and that the “authenticity speaks through,” he explained – which is also likely why the video did so well.
“I’m writing about the friends that I’ve lost, and how I try to carry them with me every single day,” he said, “and my success is their success.”
Here is Budweiser’s video: