Budweiser revives ‘whassup’ ad for lockdown era

Budweiser has revived its famous “whassup” advert to reflect the lockdown situation in the US.

(Photo: Budweiser)

The AB InBev-owned lager brand has recruited former NBA superstar Dwyane Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, to star in the new advert, as well as some of their friends including Chris Bosh, Candace Parker, and DJ D-Nice during one of his ‘Club Quarantine’ dance parties.

The original “whassup” ran from 1999 to 2002, and first aired on December 20, 1999. The ad campaign was run worldwide and became a pop culture catchphrase, and arguably one of the first adverts to go viral. The catchphrase has been parodied numerous times, with nods to the commercial appearing on The Simpsons, Scary Movie, and more recently, by TV presenter James Corden on the Late Late Show.

The first episode shows Wade and his wife, actress Gabrielle Union, checking in on his friends.

A second episode featuring Wade, Union and other stars will premiere later this month.

“We both remembered the original ‘whassup’ ads and love the idea of bringing them back as a genuine PSA to connect with each other,” Wade said.

“We encourage everyone to take a moment out from their day to check-in with their friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”

Budweiser has partnered with The Salvation Army as part of the PSA campaign, and will make a donation to the charity to fund its newly launched hotline directed at people suffering from high levels of anxiety and loneliness during lockdown.

“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,” Monica Rustgi, Vice President of Marketing for Budweiser, saud.

“In times like these, something as simple as a hello, or in this case ‘whassup,’ 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.”

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