Budweiser today released a second, 90-second PSA-style ad harking back to its iconic “Whassup” spot from 1999, with added star power from Insecure’s Issa Rae and Yvonne Orji, The Umbrella Academy’s Emmy Raver-Lampman and Broadway star Daveed Diggs. Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade are back, too, to check in on everybody through video chat.
The first episode, released last week, featured Union, Wade, Chris Bosh, Candace Parker and DJ D-Nice, checking in to make sure their friends were doing alright during quarantine.
Both ads follow the format of the original spot, which has seen numerous references and renditions in pop culture since its original airing two decades ago. In the new PSAs, produced by VaynerMedia, the “whassups” are followed up by a real check-in between the friends.
Wade acknowledges how “crazy” things are, and asks how everyone’s parents are holding up. Orji mentions that her parents are on lockdown in Nigeria, and that “it’s crazy over there, too.”
As the screen fades, words flash across the screen reminding viewers that “staying connected matters more than ever right now.” The spot ends with a number for a hotline that Salvation Army set up in April to support people dealing with anxiety, uncertainty or fear as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
“During times of crisis, feelings of isolation and fear can be overwhelming, and we want people to know there’s someone here to listen,” said David Hudson, national commander of The Salvation Army, in a statement. Through the campaign, “more people will know that they’re not alone,” he said. “We’re going to get through this—together.”
As part of the campaign, Budweiser is donating $100,000 to The Salvation Army to support the hotline. The brand is also hosting interactive events on its social media platforms each day at 6 p.m. E.T., including live chats with celebrities each Thursday. Dwyane Wade will be checking in, having a Bud, tomorrow on the brand’s Instagram, @BudweiserUSA.
The Salvation Army’s hotline is available between 9 a.m. and 11 p.m. E.T. every day of the week, and has trained staff available to chat in English or Spanish at 1-844-458-HOPE. After hours callers are encouraged to leave a message.