How Budweiser Brought Back ‘Whassup’ for a New Era

Twenty years ago, Budweiser shouted its way into catchphrase history with “Whassup,” a simple but addictive spot about friends greeting each other.

Frequently misremembered as a Super Bowl ad, the spot actually first aired during Monday Night Football in December 1999. It was inspired by a short film called “True,” written and directed by Charles Stone III, and a team from DDB talked Budweiser into hiring Stone and his friends to reprise the roles in a commercial that soon expanded into a multi-part campaign.

Two decades later, “Whassup” still works its way into pop culture and conversation from time to time, though shows like Friends and The Office did their best to mock those who tried to keep the catchphrase going.

To mark the spot’s 20th anniversary, Budweiser Canada and Toronto agency Mosaic created a Super Bowl ad that ran during this year’s Big Game broadcast on CTV. Clearly, things have changed since the original—and not just because landlines went the way of the wooly mammoth:

That ad’s closing, while not quite a perfect payoff, highlights Budweiser’s partnership with Uber to offer discounts for those hailing a ride home.

The spot was directed by John Grammatico of Revolver Films, who also made a teaser featuring Scott Martin Brooks, who played Dookie in the original campaign:

Here’s a look back at the original:


Advertising Agency: Mosaic Toronto
VP, Executive Creative Director: Jess Willis
Creative Director: Dave Thornhill
Associate Creative Director: Sasha Newton
Copywriter: Dave Thornhill, Mathew Levinson, Sasha Newton
Art Director: Gira Moin, Jason Soucé
Project Manager: Nicole Windrem
Designer: Harpreet Singh, Katharine Lane, Nick Pilon
VP, Client Service: Ashleigh Millar
Director, Client Service: Danielle Bablich
Senior Account Manager, Client Service: Dan Tallent
Agency Producers: Marie Pierre Toure, Julia Morris, Clair Galea
Production: Revolver Films
Director: John Grammatico
DP: Bobby Shore / CSC
Line Producer: Peter Oad
Production Designer: Benoit Morin
Executive Producer: Luc Frappier
Executive Producer: Richard Cureton
Postproduction: Saints/Darling
Offline: Saints
Editor: Griff Henderson
Assistant Editor: Kerstin Juby
Executive Producer: Michelle Rich
Color / VFX: Darling
Colorist: Kassi Bellamy
VFX Artist: Lauren Rempel
Producer: Morgan Campbell
Executive Producer: Kristen Van Fleet
Audio Production: Pirate Toronto
Audio Director: Vanya Drakul
Mix Engineer and Sound Design: Kyle Anderson
Executive Producer: Maggie Blouin Pearl

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