This is the fifth, and perhaps final in our series of unaired commercials. They kind of go downhill a bit after this one. winking smiley face.
This one was weird.
Shortly after the first Wassup! spots started airing it became apparent that there was an appetite for online parodies. So we figured who better than us to do a parody of our own thing. After talking things over with the director Charles Stone, we settled on a few that we knew would be hard for the general public to pull off, ie they involved real production expertise. The obvious and smart thing was to go “What’s 180 degrees away from young African-Americans yelling into phones?”.
I remember we rejected the idea of country club white guys doing it as being unnecessarily racially divisive. Goodby Silverstein apparently didn’t think so. They jumped on the bandwagon with exactly this idea a year later. And won a gold Clio with it. I will forever hate them with the intensity of a thousand suns for doing that. I’m kidding Jeff! Seriously, I’m kidding.
But one idea that we all liked was the idea of having Old Ladies watching a game show having a Bud. The elderly ladies in the spot were blissfully unaware of the Wassup! phenomenon. Which made it even funnier. They had absolutely no idea what they were doing. I vividly recall nearly dying laughing when we shot the scene in the garden as the elderly actress screamed urban slang into her phone. “Wassup money grips???” etc. It was the first time we did something that mirrored or echoed the original wassup template. It would not be the last. That kind of became our job. Doing new variations on that one thing. Over and over. we got real good at it too!
The reason it didn’t air was that there was just something off-putting about grandmas drinking beer in the middle of the day in an ad for budweiser. it just felt wrong to the clients. and that was cool.
but the funny part was that the very next month…this wassup parody swept the internet! the exact same idea. it was like clockwork. and it was kind of eerie. but the good part though was that the spot we produced — much better execution IMHO — was eligible to be included in our Grand Prix-winning entry to the Cannes advertising festival. and it was a big hit en France. so in a sense it did actually air. but only in the palais at Cannes. and it did its damage there. so thank you old ladies. Merci!
FUN FACT: The New Jersey house where we shot our spot was the same house used to shoot Hesh’s home scenes in The Sopranos.