To remind people to check in on friends and family during social distancing and self-quarantining, Budweiser has re-visited its iconic ‘Wassup’ campaign. Using the original cast with re-recorded audio, the spot leads viewers to believe that the original cast is communicating with each other from quarantine.
The original Budweiser commercial was created in 1999 by DDB Chicago. Based around a short film True directed by Charles Stone III. Stone was called upon to direct the commercial, which went on to become one of the most iconic TV ads of all time, winning a CLIO and two Emmy nominations. The commercial won the Cannes Grand Prix Award and was inducted into the CLIO Hall of Fame.
‘We weren’t completely surprised when it was a hit,’ The Escape Pod Executive Creative Director and founder Vinny Warren told Mel Magazine. Warren was the Creative Director on the original ‘Wassup’ at DDB. ‘It was more a feeling of relief. That was the game we were playing — we were going to be on the Super Bowl, and the Anheuser-Busch client usually won the “best ad of the big game” poll in USA Today, which was important to them
Budweiser chose to remake the 21-year-old (man are we old) commercial, in response to the YouGov insight that found one in five Brits are living along during lockdown.
Now the spot is designed to encourage people to think of those who might need them right now with the message: ‘Buds Support Buds; Check In On Yours.’ Watch below:
“Thanks to modern technology, we’re able to remain virtually connected in ways that otherwise we would not have been able to within the current distance-mandated climate.” says Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser. “In times like these, something as simple as a hello, or in this case ‘wassup,’ means a lot. Following the unbelievable success of the original ad campaign, we found this to be a meaningful opportunity to revisit the original spot’s simplicity and focus on human connection in a time when people may be feeling hopeless, uncertain, and alone. Our hope is that by getting people to check in, we can play a small part in bringing the world closer together during these trying times, ”
In theirs, Wade calls up his old teammate Chris Bosh to check in — and soon, they’re on a multi-person FaceTime call with Candace Parker and DJ D-Nice, all chatting and asking each other, ‘Wassup?’
Using the hashtag #TogetherAtADistance, Budweiser wants to rally people to support each other and remind them that while we cannot be physically close, they can stay connected.
“My wife and I wanted to partner with Budweiser because we believe the message is crucial,” Wade said, adding, “We both remembered the original “wassup” ads and love the idea of bringing them back as a genuine PSA to connect with each other. We encourage everyone to take a moment out from their day to check-in with their friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”
Fans can also check in with celebrities thanks to the brand, which will host Instagram Live chats on @BudweiserUSA — starting with Wade himself on April 30 at 6 p.m. EST.