‘Whassup?’ Is Now a Punchline

Anheuser-Busch’s buzz-generating “Whassup?” campaign for Budweiser apparently has been around long enough to be ripe for at least a pair of parodies—one of which is from Bud itself; the other is from import-beer rival Heineken.

Sources said DDB in Chicago and director Charles Stone are casting for parrots and turkeys who can ef-fectively squawk the catchphrase, with the turkeys to be used in a Thanksgiving-timed execution.

Meanwhile, Heineken USA, which over the past couple of years has tweaked rivals Bud and Corona in TV commercials, is considering airing a new “Whassup?” parody as well, created by Lowe Lintas & Partners in New York as a crowd-pleasing icebreaker for ongoing regional wholesaler meetings.

Sources who have seen the spot at the meetings in Las Vegas said the parody has been greeted with enough enthusiasm to encourage Heineken to consider dialing up the Heineken brand registration and putting it on air, along with new general and holiday spots currently being unveiled to boisterous wholesaler enthusiasm there.

In Heineken’s parody, a group of African American guys are shown sitting around a bar and laughing as they watch a TV commercial that is very similar to the “Whassup?” work. “This is really funny,” one of them exclaims, before ordering, “Another round of Heineken!”

The ad is part of the campaign from Lowe Lintas that goes back two years. The effort has included other ads that parody Bud, such as “The Weasel,” which shows a fellow who shows up at a party with a domestic lager resembling Bud, and switches it with a Heineken. Another satiric spot was “The Ascent of Man,” in which a series of characters is lined up at a bar, meant to depict man’s evolution. One is a cavemanlike guy drinking a brown-bottled beer; the most evolved man is dressed elegantly and is drinking Heineken.

Lowe Lintas executives had no comment. Calls to White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken were not returned at press time.