The end of an era. Bob Lachky leaves Anheuser-Busch.

You know all those Budweiser and Bud Light ads you’ve loved over the years?  Well the man largely responsible for overseeing the creation of all of them – Bob Lachky – has left the brewery.

It is no exaggeration to say that I, and many other ad folks, owe our careers to Bob’s good judgment and steady nerves over the years.  If Bob liked your ad it very probably got done the way you wanted it to get done.   There were no nervous, interfering clients on Budweiser shoots.  They trusted us to get it done.  It wasn’t unusual to have no client at all present on a shoot.  I actually didn’t like that because I would end up trying to play client and annoy everyone in the process.

Ad geeks might be surprised to know that Bob started out as an account guy on Bud Light at DDB.   And was later hired by August Busch III to supervise the various A-B ad agencies output.  Bob’s somewhat senatorial demeanor could be misleading to the uninitiated.  He had surprisingly great creative and executional instincts.  I hesitate to tell the following story because it makes me look slightly bad, but here goes.

At the pre-production meeting the day before we shot the original Wassup! Ads, Bob asked me why the tagline at the end of the scripts read “This Bud’s for you”, their tagline at the time.  I uncertainly replied: because…it’s…your…tagline…Bob.

The short film we based the ads on was called “TRUE”.  And that word fluttered briefly on the screen at the end.  Bob, correctly, felt the ads in our campaign should end with that title too.  So we did that.  And I’m glad we did. It just felt right. I didn’t think it made that much difference at the time but it did as the campaign took off and ultimately became known as the TRUE campaign.

I’m not sure what Bob’s plans are.  I think he should write a book. I told him that the last time we met.  Write a book Bob!  There.  That should do it.

And so l hoist a beer-clean pilsner glass of Bud (poured down the middle to release the carbonation, natch) in his honor.   Here’s to you Mr. Great Beer Commercial Getter on the Air Guy.

Good luck Bob, and swing by The  Escape Pod next time you’re in Chicago.

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