Budweiser gives iconic Whassup advert a lockdown revamp

Budweiser has given its iconic ‘Whassup’ advert a quarantine-themed remake, encouraging people to connect with friends and family.

The advert uses the original video footage from 1999 but it has re-recorded the audio to encourage people to check in on their friends during the coronavirus lockdown.

The opening shot highlights one of the characters answering the phone saying they are “in quarantine, having a Bud”, rather than “watching the game, having a Bud.” The advert ends with the strapline: “Buds support buds. Check in on yours.”

The decision to remake the advert comes after YouGov research found one in five Britons is living alone during lockdown.

The message is also being spread across social media by the beer brand, using the hashtag #Togetheratadistance to encourage people to stay connected.

Elise Dickinson, Budweiser UK’s marketing manager, said: “Many of us across the world have had to adapt the way we live our day-to-day lives in response to the global health crisis – especially in the way we socialise. We wanted to bring a smile to people’s faces while also highlighting the importance of checking in with loved ones, so it make sense to revisit our iconic Whassup ad for this new purpose.”

Tom Harvey, co-founder of YesMore beer marketing agency, said the brand has got the recreation of its original advert “so right”.

He said: “It’s been over twenty years since the Budweiser ad first aired in 1999. I was 13 years old and I remember it distinctly because it became the greeting of choice whenever anyone called or saw each other. Looking at the reaction when I shared the video on Linkedin it’s clear that my friends and family still feel nostalgic about it.

“Budweiser has got both the re-recording and the recreation of its original Whasssup advert so right for a number of reasons.

“It is nostalgic to those that remember it, at a time when much of the human population are reminiscing about their pre-quarantine lives.

“It is relatable, because so many people in quarantine are only catching up with their friends and family via telephone and video calls.”

Harvey also points to the fact the advert is responsible, “reminding their audience to check in with their friends and family to see how they are”.  He added: “I have written much about mindful marketing and this is it at its best. 

“This is a mass market beer appealing to a broad audience. So what is most impressive is seeing a big brand such as Bud put its money behind a big message that is vitally important to our industry right now. Presumably, it has been organised and gone through potentially complex sign off processes during lockdown measures too.”

The original Whassup ad aired between 1999 and 2002.