1999: Budweiser airs its ‘Wassup’ commercial in 1999

To celebrate the Ad Club of New York's 120th anniversary, The Drum is inviting readers to share their favorite marketing moments from the past 120 years.

Today's marketing moment was chosen by Bob Scarpelli, former chairman and chief creative officer at DDB Worldwide. Below, find out why Budweiser's 'Wassup' campaign is his favorite marketing moment.

I’ve always believed that one sure sign of a great idea is if it gets into popular culture. I was lucky enough to be part one that did, the “Whassup” campaign for Budweiser. At the time, not only were we saying it, but everyone was saying it.

Four friends, “watchin’ the game, havin’ a Bud” cut across all cultural barriers to become one of the most popular and memorable campaigns ever. It was one of the first campaigns to go viral. For a while, “Whassup” was everywhere. Parodies showed up on the Internet, on TV shows and in movies. Talk show hosts and DJs used it in their routines. The guys became celebrities in their own right. “Whassup” became a global phenomenon, popular even in countries where Bud isn’t sold. It was a wild ride.

“Whassup” helped make Budweiser a hipper, cooler brand. August Busch IV of Anheuser Busch said: “In our lifetimes, we’ll never see so much value created from a single idea.”

As our tagline said: “True.”

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

Staff Writer

The Drum is a global media platform and the biggest marketing website in Europe. We produce The Drum magazine, 30 awards and events and manage The Drum Network which aims to make independently minded agencies more successful. We also help brands find the right agencies to work with through the Recommended Agency Register (RAR).

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