A puppy befriends a Clydesdale in one of Budweiser's Super Bowl ads. (Courtesy of Anheuser-Busch)

The Puppy Bowl is usually the cutest thing to watch on Super Bowl Sunday, but this year, a Budweiser commercial may have taken that honor. Budweiser’s “Puppy Love” commercial, about a puppy and a Clydesdale who have an unbreakable bond, has gone viral in the days leading up to the big game, with 23 million YouTube views as of Friday morning. According to Viral Video Chart, it is the most shared Super Bowl ad of the year so far.

“Puppy Love” is a continuation of the company’s highly-praised ad from last year. “Brotherhood” followed the story of a Clydesdale who bonded with his trainer, played by actor Don Jeanes. This year, Jeanes is back at his Clydesdale farm, and a Labrador retriever puppy from next door’s farm keeps sneaking under the fence to hang out with his horse pal. When the puppy is adopted and has to leave his heartbroken friend behind, the Clydesdales force a dramatic intervention. That, of course, is when the weepy-sweet song “Let Her Go” by Passenger swells to its dramatic crescendo, for maximum heartstring-tugging effect.

The commercial has won praise from critics and viewers alike. “The scenes come off as both sweet and iconic, small yet grand,” wrote AdWeek’s Tim Nudd. On Twitter, users said the ad brought them to tears. “If you watch @Budweiser's #BestBuds ad and almost cry, it doesn't make you less of a man,” wrote @Huskerguy.

It’s already inspired a spoof: The same ad, but set to Ginuwine’s “My Pony.”

Budweiser’s second Super Bowl commercial packs an emotional punch as well: It’s a flash-mob parade for a returning soldier, Lt. Chuck Nadd.

See more Super Bowl commercials on Post TV.