"Whassup" a Budweiser advertising campaign based on what began as a greeting among friends more than 15 years ago, has turned into one of the hottest advertising properties, and was launched in the UK, this week.

Based on the real life greeting exchanged by the advert's director and stars, the series has spawned a catch-phrase craze and picked up the prestigious Grand Prix award in Cannes.

"Whassup?! Has been a phenomenon in the US, and the response from adult consumers over there has been overwhelmingly positive. It is growing in popularity around the world," said Budweiser marketing manager, Kerry Babe.

Four advertisements will be running in the UK including "True," the Grand Clio Award-winning 60-second spot, and three 30-second spots, "Call Waiting," "Pizza Guy" and "Girlfriend."

The response in the advertisements is "Watchin' the game, havin' a Bud."

"The simple, funny storyline is easy to pick up and anyone who has ever had their own special language among a group of friends will get it straight away," said Babe.

Charles Stone, a director with Storm Films in New York, has exchanged the "Whassup" greeting with his friends for about 15 years, and in 1998 he created a short film titled "True" in which he and his friends sit around an apartment and exchange the greeting.

Charles Stone commenting on the advertisement said: "When we decided to make an ad similar to the film "True", I was concerned with whether the magic would still be there. I really applaud Budweiser for the fact that we didn't have to hammer home the product. I honestly think they took a back seat with this campaign. You do not see a lot of Bud bottles and there is no music at the end of the ads. They allowed Budweiser to shine through the message."

A worldwide rollout is planned, but the campaign was officially launched in the UK on September 18, and will run until Christmas. Big Brother fans would have seen the first 'unofficial' run of "Whassup" during Friday's Big Brother final.