Back In The Clydesdale
by Mike Campbell 2004
I went to the bar after working all day,
And ordered a dark Guinness Beer.
But the Yuppies were chatting so thick on their cell phones,
I guess the barman did not hear.
He brought me a glass and a tall boy of Bud,
And set them down in front of me,
Well I coughed and I sputtered in pure disbelief,
And sang out this chorus with glee.
Put that Budweiser back in the Clydesdale,
Its not the right flavor for me.
The color's all wrong and there's not enough foam,
And its got all the kick of weak tea.
Now pour me a pint of that good Guinness Stout,
With color you cannot see through.
Put that Budweiser back in the Clydesdale, boys,
And pour me a beer that is true.
Then the waitress came by when I'd finished my first one,
An angry young woman named Jill,
She snatched up my empty without even looking,
And went off to find a refill.
Then she brought back a glass of some pale liquid garbage,
And said, "Here's the Bud you asked for."
Well I gave her a glare that would knock down a horse,
And sang out this chorus once more.
So if ever you're seeking a beer with good flavor,
To finish your day or your meal.
If they serve you a Millers, a Coors or a Bud,
Or some other brand that ain't real,
If the "King of Beers" is the only selection,
I hope that you'll answer like this,
Put that Budweiser back in the Clydesdale, boys,
I won't drink twelve ounces of that lousy beer.
When you say Bud. Budweiser song 1971.
1970 Budweiser Commercial
Budweiser Beer Commercial #2 1960
Budweiser Commercial (1956)
In December 1999 Anheuser-Busch Companies, Inc., had the two best-selling beers in the United States and more than double the market share of any competitor. Despite a decade-long decline in sales, Budweiser, the company’s flagship brew, remained the country’s most popular alcoholic beverage, although, thanks largely to the growing consumer preference for reduced-calorie beer, Bud Light was poised to overtake the ‘‘King of Beers.’’
Anheuser-Busch already had the industry’s biggest and most successful advertising presence, but the Budweiser television campaign called ‘‘Whassup?!’’ resonated with a new, more youthful audience and became not just an industry award winner but also a pop-culture phenomenon.
The idea behind the ‘‘Whassup?!’’ commercials, developed for Anheuser-Busch by DDB Worldwide Chicago, was simple. In the initial spot, called ‘‘Whassup True,’’ four male friends, speaking over the phone, greeted one another with the slang phrase ‘‘Whassup?!’’ The answer— ‘‘Watching the game. Having a Bud’’— elicited the response ‘‘True, true,’’ before the conversation escalated into a chorus of ‘‘Whassups?!’’ delivered with mouths open, tongues protruding, and an air of intense glee.
Within a few months of the campaign’s introduction, unauthorized Internet parodies began to appear that featured people in the news, cartoon superheroes, and many others greeting one another with innumerable variations on ‘‘Whassup?!’’ Disc jockeys and late-night talkshow hosts began saying ‘‘Whassup?!’’ and soon it became a common greeting and a pop-culture phrase around the world, even in countries where Budweiser was not sold. The initial campaign won nearly every major industry award, and later installments continued to win awards. ‘‘Whassup?!’’ ran through 2001 and was then developed into a more expansive campaign called ‘‘True,’’ in which the tagline from the original commercials was interpreted in new ways meant to show beer drinkers that Budweiser understood them and their lives. (https://thisisnotadvertising.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/budweiser-the-story-of-whassup/) After ‘‘Whassup?!’’ had won both the Grand Clio and the Cannes Grand Prix in 2000, there were complaints within the advertising industry. Some felt that it was inappropriate to give the industry’s highest honors to a campaign that had not originally come from an advertising agency at all. The idea, of course, was Charles Stone III’s, and the initial spot was similar to his independent film True. But Stone was not himself the sole author of the idea. ‘‘Whassup?!’’ was a greeting that he and his friends had been using with one another since 1984.
‘‘Whassup?!’’ had its genesis outside the advertising world in a short film called True, created by music-video director Charles Stone III as a means of trying to break into feature films. A DDB creative director discovered True and immediately recommended it to his supervisor as suitable for a Budweiser advertisement. The film, which became ‘‘Whassup True’’ after minor adjustments in content, featured Stone and three of his friends. Stone himself was tapped to direct and to act in the series of commercials DDB began scripting, and though roughly 80 other actors were auditioned for the parts of Stone’s friends, with one exception DDB hired the real-life friends to play themselves. Stone worried that the slang response ‘‘True’’ might need to be scrapped in favor of a more mainstream line like ‘‘Right on,’’ but Anheuser-Busch’s Lachky recognized the trend setting potential of the original.
‘‘Whassup True’’ originally aired with little fanfare on sports programming in December 1999. The 60-second commercial was a hit with the 21- to 27-yearold demographic, but for the 2000 Super Bowl Anheuser-Busch chose the shorter and less risky ‘‘Girlfriend,’’ in which one of the ‘‘Whassup?!’’ friends answered the phone in characteristic fashion while trying not to let on that the ‘‘game’’ he was watching with his girlfriend was actually a figure-skating competition. Other spots in the original campaign included one in which a pizza deliverer was mistaken for a friend and subjected, over an apartment-building intercom, to the ‘‘Whassup?!’’ routine. The spots eventually ran during sports programming, as well as prime-time and late-night shows.
After Internet parodies and media attention became widespread, ‘‘Whassup?!’’ was at risk of becoming overexposed, and Anheuser-Busch and DDB worked to keep the campaign fresh by running their own spoofs. In ‘‘Come Home’’ an alien, returning to his home planet after infiltrating Earth in the guise of a dog, was asked by his ruler what he had learned from his time among humans. After a short pause the alien declared, mouth wide and tongue lolling, ‘‘Whassup?!’’ In addition, DDB created a unique hybrid commercial called ‘‘Language Tape,’’ in which a professor-like character directed viewers to Budweiser.com, where they could learn how to say ‘‘Whassup?!’’ in 36 different languages. Website traffic increased to 1.265 million visitors per month, compared to the previous year’s average of 400,000 (https://thisisnotadvertising.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/budweiser-the-story-of-whassup/).
DDB Worldwide Chicago claimed to have pioneered the concept of ‘‘talk value,’’ that elusive quality that makes advertising campaigns and phrases cultural touchstones, but the ‘‘Whassup?!’’ campaign far exceeded the agency’s and Anheuser-Busch’s expectations. The phrase appeared as a headline on the cover of Forbes, and the commercials were parodied on Saturday Night Live in addition to being mentioned countless times in the media while being spread around the world via more than 80 homemade Internet parodies. At the 2000 Grammy Awards performers Christina Aguilera and LeVar Burton imitated the ‘‘Whassup?!’’ commercials on the red carpet, and during that year’s NBA season the Sacramento Kings gave a collective cry of ‘‘Whassup?!’’ after each team huddle. (https://thisisnotadvertising.wordpress.com/2011/09/01/budweiser-the-story-of-whassup/).
THE KING CREDENTIALS! The King of Beers pints its ingredients right on the label. Know of any other beer that does?