In 1999 American brewing giant Anheuser-Busch launched a campaign for its iconic Budweiser brand that made the leap from advertising to the popular culture.
For three years, from 1999, the brand promoted the connection of the brand with phatic social interactions – (language used for general purposes of social interaction, rather than to convey information).
Simply put, the commercials featured guys interacting with one another with the catch phrase – Wassup? Phone rings – ‘one guy says what you doing?’; “Nothing – watching the game, havin a Bud.’ Flat mate enters with the now legendary ‘Wassuuuuup?!’ and a series of interactions follows – via telephone extensions (if you are under 30, ask an adult)…the result was an oddball phenomenon that not only won a Cannes Grand Prix but also became part of the vernacular – a meme before the internet discovered cats – angry or otherwise. It was huge.
Fast forward, nearly 20 years. According to AdWeek, Burger King are bringing ‘Wassup!’ back in a campaign to coincide with the American Independence celebration on the fourth of July. BK have created a ‘brewhouse’ burger flavour – so it makes perfect sense in the world of brand dating to hook up with Budweiser and their iconic meme.
Here at BrandWorld we’re fascinated. Not only by the resurrection of an icon but also by the use of a dormant fluent device. We’ve discussed the phenomenon of triggering an heuristic response from consumers with fluency (things injected with meaning but effortlessly accessed – kind of like remembering that summer when you first kissed someone special for the first time every time you hear Wham’s Last Summer). ‘Wassup!?' will trigger the memories of a chunk of the population and create new interest for a new cohort (now equipped with the accelerating super-power of social media).
Our new product Oxygen™ also harnesses the potential of fluent devices – creating simple built-in triggers on a platform that also enables flexible creative development. For a presentation of how Oxygen can propel your brand in to the pantheon of high growth, remembered-forever legends – get in touch.