FINALLY, SOMETHING IS AS CERTAIN AS LIGHTNING
Lately, we're using the word "lightning" a lot, as in " Does this message have lightning?"
We've started using it in describing the creative work which delivers that potent little bolt of emotional juice.
Because, as you know, emotion is the engine that drives decision making.
And the emotional charge that comes from good advertising and branding is quick, potent and literally electrical.
Emotions are an electrochemical signals that tell the brain how to react.
And today's example of certainty comes from an unlikely sector
During this age of weirdness, it avoids all the hackneyed phrases of "these uncertain times."
It speaks to the zeitgeist without sounding like every other worn-out, trite and unimaginative wording that is coming at us from all corners.
BUDWEISER BRINGS IT IN AGAIN
Budweiser has long had a habit of bringing the lightning and jerking a few tears along the way.
And this is another glowing example of how big-agency/big-brand thinking can make you smile while informing the things we can do in our own small businesses.
The famous Budweiser Whassup? campaign ran from 1999 to 2002.
The advertising was much loved. It inspired a cross-cultural catch-phrase epidemic. Everyone was walking around saying, "Whassup!"
Today, a doctored version of the original commercial is here, introducing the idea of "jus' quarantining, drinkin' a Bud."
The joyful and infections silliness of the "Whassup!" action ends with the parting thought, "BUDS SUPPORT BUDS. CHECK ON YOURS."
It's just fun. And it jerks a little tear, all while underscoring an important message.
BUT WAIT, THERE'S MORE...
The original premise has also been adapted for today's spokesfolks and the weirdness of the moment.
There's a brand new commercial "Whassup!" commercial gives us former NBA stars Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade, WNBA star Candace Parker, DJ D-Nice, and Wade's wife Gabrielle Union all getting together on a video chat.
They all do a big, rousing round of "Whassup!"
Then, Wade gets serious and asks, "For real, though, what's up with everybody?" His wife asks, "You guys staying safe?"
It all ends with the message, "Staying connected matters more than ever right now. Checking in, that's whassup. Need to talk? The Salvation Army has trained staff available." They provide the "HOPE" phone number.
FUN, TOUCHING...AND IMPORTANT
The entire, 90-second spot uses minimal words. It's enjoyable. It never uses any hackneyed phrase-of-the-moment, like "In these uncertain times."
Nobody needs a reminder that these times are uncertain.
In fact, when were the certain times?
They never existed.
They are imagined.
And nobody needs a reminder of today's lack of certainty.
What they need is a little bit of emotional lightning.
And Budweiser delivers.
Here's the revised original "Whassup" spot, presently airing in the UK:
And here's the new US spot, "Checking In, That's Whassup:
Blaine Parker is prone to ranting about any and all things related to brand. In many ways, he is a professional curmudgeon. While there is no known vaccine for this, the condition is also not contagious. Unless you choose it to be so.