A good television advertisement for me isn’t always about what the actual product is – though of course the end product is important to those who are writing the adverts and is what they hope to sell. To me, I identify more with the advert if it captures my imagination, if it’s unique and especially if it makes me laugh.
I could write many lists on the various types of adverts that have been aired, and I’m sure I will write several in the future – but for now, I’m going to take a look at my favourite Budweiser commercials. I’m not a particular fan of Bud, and don’t choose that beer over any other. In fact, Bud tends to be the ‘reserve’ beer that I will choose a bottle of if there isn’t any other real choice at the bar…so I will only drink it once or twice a year. Their adverts have left an impression on me though, and though only a few spring to mind as the real gems, we do see great efforts from the advertising team every year during the famous Super Bowl commercials.
I’m sure all of the following adverts will be familiar to you, and hopefully they will invoke the same type of reaction in you as they do in me. If any are brand new to you, I hope you enjoy them as you see them for the first time with fresh eyes.
I like the visual effect of this advert, and the adaptation of a standard stadium wave to have this little animation of the beer being poured and then drunk. Had this been shot in real time in the stadium with tens of thousands of people choreographed to turn their boards at the precise time then it would probably have taken it to the top spot in this list.
Budweiser adapted this advert slightly for the 2006 World Cup, whereby the football players in the original were replaced by soccer players. Check out this video to see the adapted version.
This one is in here for the feel good factor alone. It’s the story of a small donkey with big aspirations as he wants to be a magnificent Clydesdale that pulls crates of Bud. This advert has a big ‘aww’ factor in the humble little star, and is humorous throughout.
One of the 2007 Super Bowl adverts, this one is good just for the simplicity and slapstick humor. The trend with most adverts is that they want you to see the product as a must have item, and so many adverts would focus on the extreme lengths that people will go to in order to get their own way.
We know by now that adverts with animals work, and anthropomorphism just makes everything even more hilarious. If you have animals mimicking real life situations, you’re usually on to a good thing – and there’s no exception here. Take a normal event that can and does occur at major sporting events, then replace the humans with animals – how can you go wrong with an advert like that?
These sets of adverts had a great impact when they were released…especially once people realised they were to form a story with several episodes. After the initial advert was released you just had to be in a room of three or more people and for one person to start of by saying “Bud” before two other people would join in with “weis” and “er”. Saying such a simple phrase became a common social thing to do and as natural as clapping is at the start of an episode of ‘Friends’. Of course this was great for Budweiser as people all over the world would be randomly saying their brand name for a laugh. I remember working in a hotel at the time and we were given some promotional keyrings that were frogs who said ‘Budweiser’ when you pressed them.
The introduction of the two lizards, sinister Louis and placid Frank, changed the whole dynamic of the advert as we realised it was these guys, and not actually the frogs, who were the real stars. The clip below is a compilation of all of the adverts one after the other, so you get the whole story from start to finish. It goes a little downhill at the end, and I think they should have stopped the adverts before they did (like most good series really), but there are many genuinely funny bits in there and Louis is a great character.
This advert can be slightly annoying, I admit, but then many good and effective adverts are (Cillit Bang anyone?). Yet, as annoying as it initially seemed this advert did become quite a cultural phenomenon and coined the ‘whassup?’ phrase – I couldn’t tell you how many times I used to answer the buzzer to my flat and have a friend’s voice shouting ‘whassuuuup?’ back at me.
The only danger of this advert was that, unlike the frogs, people could easily mimic the content without associating it with the product. However, just do a search for ‘whassup’ on YouTube and you’ll find many parodies of this advert. If you’ve done something which makes many people want to spend hours creating their own version, from the Simpsons to Nintendo – well you know that you must have done something right.