-- Millions of Americans have been asking the same question -- "Whassup?!" -- for months, and last night they were joined by judges in one of the world's largest advertising awards competition. Budweiser's popular "Whassup?!" campaign, which turned a greeting among friends more than 15 years ago into the nation's hottest catch phrase, earned one of the advertising industry's most prestigious awards, the Grand Clio for television. The award, given to the campaign's original 60-second spot, titled "True," was one of 14 garnered by Anheuser-Busch at last night's 41st Annual Clio TV and Radio Gala. Budweiser's "Louie the Lizard" campaign received half of those awards, including a Gold Clio for national radio campaign.

"It's a tremendous honor to win a Grand Clio for the original Budweiser 'Whassup?!' spot," said August A. Busch IV, vice president of marketing, Anheuser-Busch, Inc. "To win 14 Clios is outstanding, and it's particularly rewarding to be recognized by our peers in the advertising industry.

"This is a real credit to the outstanding work of our advertising partners -- DDB Worldwide, Chicago which worked with director Charles Stone III to create the 'Whassup?!' campaign; and Goodby, Silverstein & Partners, creators of the 'Budweiser Lizards' campaign," Busch said.

The award for "Whassup?!" is the brand's second-consecutive Grand Clio. In 1999, the "Louie the Lizard" campaign from Goodby, Silverstein & Partners earned the Grand Clio for radio. Last night, Clio also presented two Hall of Fame awards, including one to Anheuser-Busch for Budweiser's classic "Frogs" television spot.

Along with this year's the Grand Clio, Anheuser-Busch's Budweiser and Bud Light brands earned 13 Clio awards for TV and Radio, including:


Gold: Budweiser "Whassup?!"/"True"
Silver: Budweiser "Whassup?!"(National Campaign)
Bronze: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard" (National Campaign)
Bronze: Budweiser "Lobster"
Bronze: Bud Light "Rough Choice"


Gold: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard" (National Campaign)
Gold: Bud Light "Heroes" (National Campaign)
Silver: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard - The Bay Area"
Silver: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard - Where Are They Now?"
Silver: Bud Light "Heroes/Bowling"
Bronze: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard - British Louie"
Bronze: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard - Hollywood"
Bronze: Budweiser "Louie the Lizard - The Ferret's Ladies"

"Whassup?!" Campaign Evolved From a Short Film

The concept for the Budweiser "Whassup?!" ads came from Stone, a director with Storm Films in New York. Stone has exchanged the "Whassup?!" greeting with his friends for about 15 years.

In 1998 Stone created a short film titled, "True" in which he and his buddies sit in an apartment and exchange the greeting. DDB Worldwide, Chicago, saw the film and, after presenting the idea to the Budweiser brand team, collaborated with Stone to adapt the concept for the ads. Stone directed the ads and stars in the campaign with several of his friends from the original film. The intent of the ads is to present a common bond of friendship among a group of friends in a humorous way.

"The popularity of the Budweiser 'Whassup?!' campaign has exceeded our expectations, and it's provided a promotional burst for the brand like nothing we've ever seen," said Busch. "The true measure of the campaign's success lies in the fact that Budweiser sales trends are the best they've been in almost seven years."

Four ads were developed for the initial phase of the campaign, including "Whassup?!," the Grand Clio Award-wining 60-second spot; and three 30-second spots, "Call Waiting," "Pizza Guy," and "Girlfriend," an ad that first aired on Super Bowl XXXIV. A new series of 30-second ads recently has joined the initial lineup, including "Wasabi," "The Game" and "Dream Girls."

While the "Whassup?!" campaign led Clio's TV category, Budweiser's "Louie the Lizard" and Bud Light's "Heroes" campaigns ensured Anheuser-Busch was well-represented in the radio category as well.

The "Heroes" campaign, also produced by DDB Worldwide, Chicago, is a tongue-in-cheek salute to some of the most under-appreciated workers in America. Bud Light's "real American heroes" include the "giant foam-finger maker," the "footlong hot dog inventor," the "pro wrestling wardrobe designer" and the "bowling shoe giver-outer."

Budweiser and Bud Light, the best-selling beers in the world, are brewed by Anheuser-Busch, Inc.