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BHS grad named in inaugural class of ‘Busch Heroes’
Andy Freeman is used to working hard.
As a mate on a tugboat in Eagle Harbor, he’s no stranger to long hours, harsh conditions and physical labor. But even he was surprised at how hard it was to step into the television spotlight as frontman for a major beer label.
“They filmed us for like 12 hours,” he said of his recent public debut. “It was pretty brutal.”
The consumer populace can now see the results of Freeman’s hard work as part of “Busch Heroes,” a new national advertising campaign by Anheuser-Busch breweries which honors a variety of people who “earn it everyday” in demanding occupations around the country.
After being asked by his supervisor if he was interested in being considered for the project in August of last year, Freeman said he kind of forgot about the whole idea until he was recently informed that he was one of the subjects chosen.
“My boss just called me up and was like, ‘Hey, do you want to do this?’ And we got picked for it,” he said. “It’s celebrating guys who work hard everyday, I guess.”
Freeman is a 2006 Bainbridge High School graduate who now resides in Indianola. He said that he’s been involved with boats and sailing in some form or another for most of his life.
“I grew up sailing and I had a lot of friends who went to the maritime academy,” he said. “I’m a mate on the tugboat. Basically, I help stand watch and do whatever the captain needs.”
Freeman said that although he’s used to working in a variety of conditions and places, when it came time to be a Busch model he was thoroughly inexperienced.
“I guess I just didn’t know what to expect,” he said. “I’d never done anything like this before. We just kind of drove the boat around. They had a production studio come down. There was the studio, the people who kind of came up with the ad and there were some photographers. There were quite a group of people.”
Despite the fact that his new status as a local celebrity has brought some good-natured teasing from his coworkers, Freeman said that overall he enjoyed the experience even if he had no intention of changing careers.
“It was fun,” Freeman said. “They flew me out to St. Louis and I got to meet the other people who are doing it. There’s a logger, a contractor, a guy who owns an auto shop [and] all different kinds of people.”
Freeman even got a chance to meet Mayor Anne Blair as part of his newfound celebrity status during a recent publicity event.
“It was pretty wild, I guess,” he said. “The mayor is really nice. It just keeps going and going. Supposedly I’m on a billboard somewhere, but I have yet to find it.”
As for the big question, given his new affiliation - What’s your favorite beer? - Freeman said that the answer might surprise some.
“I really don’t drink that much,” he laughed. “I’ve had Busch, it’s pretty good.”
Moving forward and getting back into a regular routine after all his recent modeling and publicity events, Freeman said that the part of this experience that will stay with him the most is the additional perspective he’s gained regarding advertising and the media.
“What I didn’t know about this is there are so many people in the world, and so many jobs that people do like this,” he said. “There’s so much that goes into it [an ad]. All told, there’s probably a dozen entities that really are a part of this [process]. There’s a branding team and an ad agency and a production studio and photographers and the distributors and people who drive the trucks and the salesmen. It’s wild how many things there are. It’s something that I never thought about.”