1998: Talking chameleons take the place of 'Bud-weis-er' frogs in series of spots created by GS&P

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

Today’s marketing moment was chosen by Jeff Goodby, co-chairman at Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Below, find out why a series of spots featuring two talking lizards that the agency created for Budweiser in the 1990s is his favorite marketing moment.

Budweiser had made a handful of commercials featuring the “Bud,” “Weis,” and “Er” frogs. But after one of the pre-Super Bowl meetings, their marketing leader, August Busch IVth, said they were going to “kill the frogs work.”

On the plane back form St. Louis, I ruminated about what a shame that was and thought, wait a minute, what if a couple of disgruntled animals — who had been passed over for the frogs’ spokesanimal jobs — decided to literally kill off the frogs on national TV? I came back and excitedly suggested that the two assassins be raccoons who talked like killer goodfellas from the old neighborhood.

Luckily, Harry Cocciolo, Sean Ehringer, Steve Dildarian, and Tod Grant convinced me to make them cold-blooded lizards who talked like harmless vaudeville comedians from the Catskills.

In their first Super Bowl, Frank and Louis claimed four out of the five top USA Today spots. They then went on to make nearly 60 installments of the campaign that you can happily binge watch. They are still hilarious.

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

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