Guys adverts were created by the Chicago-based DDB Worldwide ad agency
who saw Stone's short two-minute film True and pitched the idea for a TV
commercial to their Budweiser clients.
The success of the Whassup!" campaign ("Whassup
True", "Whassup Wasabi", "Whassup Call Waiting" and "Whassup Pizza Guy.") gave
the Whassup guys – Scott Brooks, Paul William and Fred Thomas – the chance to
travel the world promoting Anheuser-Busch and the commercial that made them
The commercial spots were reportedly translated into more than 36
languages, including Russian, Serbian, Chinese, Fijian, Scottish, Maori, Danish,
Dutch, Vietnamese, Nepalese, Farsi, Hindu, Japanese, Korean, Hebrew and Inooktatut Inuit.
The Budweiser Whassup! campaign was produced by C&C/Storm Films
and directed by Charles Stone III, Sheila Simmons executive produced. At DDB,
credits go to agency group creative director Don Pogany, agency producer Kent
Kwiatt, agency art directors Chuck Taylor and Justin Reardon, and agency
copywriters Vinny Warren and Charles Stone III. The campaign was edited by Livio
Sanchez of The Lookinglass Company, Santa Monica, and posted at Riot, also in
Eventually, like all ubiquitous ad campaigns, the uniqueness of the Whassup TV
spots wore thin and the interest of the viewing public finally reached the "If I
hear 'Whassup!' one more time" phase. But although the ad campaign is over, the
energetic greeting has added but another word into the pop culture lexicon of
black street slang ("cool." "diss." "you go, girl" and "24/7").
examination of the "Whassup" phenomenon read: "The spectacular consumption of
'true' African American culture: "Whassup" with the Budweiser guys?" by Eric
King Watts and Mark P Orbe. Critical Studies in Media Communication. March 2002.
Vol. 19 (1) p 1-20.
(A short etymological study)
Through the ages advertising has asked such important questions as "Got Milk?
and "Where's the Beef" but now for the maker of Anheuser-Busch comes the
outrageously funny and boisterously loud new advertising catchphrase "Whassup?
or the more lenghty "Whasssssuiuuuuuuuuuuuup?"
First, let's explain just what the phrase means. Loosely translated, the phrase
"Whassup!" (a truncated form of "What is up?") means "What are you doing?" To
better explain Bob Garfield from Advertising Age (June 26, 2000) offers this
interpretation: "Whassssupppppp?" doesn't mean, "Pray, have you any news you'd
care to impart?" It means, "You are my friend, and if you are doing anything
interesting -- interesting being defined as watching football and swilling beer
-- I'm in favor of doing it together."
Now that we have a handle on the meaning of "Whassup," here, for your
edification, is a short list of examples that highlight just how the phrase is
being used in popular culture.
"Whassup with that, huh?!"
(Variation "Whassup widat?" and "What Up?")
"Whassup my peeps?"
"Whassup, bgirl? "
"Whassup y'all, whassup? ...
"Whassup, mothafucka?" (street exchange)
"Whassup then nigga? (from a rap song lyric)
"Whassup wit you man?"
"Yo man, hey, whassup?"
"Yo, yo, yo, whassup?
"Whassup, Santa? (holiday greeting)
TRIVIA NOTE: Martin Lawrence who starred on the sitcom MARTIN/FOX/1992-97 as
radio deejay Martin Payne, routinely used the phrase "Whazz Up!" when he greeted
the listeners who phoned into his Detroit radio talk show at station WZUP.
See also - Martin Payne
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