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ADdicted: Whassup Again

The Superbowl is next weekend, which means advertisers have started pre-releasing their Superbowl spots. As an aside, I think doing so takes away the thrill of seeing something for the first time during the Big Game, but as a marketer, I certainly understand the need to get as many eyeballs as possible on the very expensive spots you produce, and releasing them ahead of time helps with that.

When I heard that Bud was bringing back their amazing "Wassap" campaign from the late '90s, I was ecstatic! Here's the original spot from 1999, which I absolutely loved...

And here's "Whassup Again", the 2020 reincarnation of the spot with a noticeable tech-twist...

I don't love the new spot, although "Smart Toilet" made me chuckle.

There are two reasons why:

1) As much as I loved the original spot, it's 20 years old. I don't want to generalize, but the optimist in me would like to think that if you're old enough to remember the original spot, you're old enough to have realized the stupidity of drinking-and-driving many years ago. "It's a smart world. Don't be stupid about how you get around" is a great message for all of us, but I can't help but feel like this important message delivered as a Wassap reincarnation won't resonate with the people who need to hear it most.

2) The partnership with Uber makes sense from a "responsible drinking" standpoint, but I can't help but feel like this spot would have made more sense from a creative standpoint if it had a number of smart cars talking to each other on the street -- hey, we're almost there -- rather than having a bunch of smart devices in a room do it.


Speaking of robots, Bud is right about one thing: "it's a smart world"... and it's only getting smarter. And this means that one way or the other, we need to prepare for a future where robots are doing more and more work that humans would otherwise be employed to do. With fewer people working -- and thus fewer paying income taxes -- how will governments generate the revenue they need to support a population that's increasingly unemployed, and perhaps unemployable? A simple solution (and one which I'll admit I've argued for in the past) might be, "just tax the robots!" But in Should Robots Pay Taxes? the Wall Street Journal suggests this approach is overly-simplistic and unlikely to work. If you're a subscriber, it's worth your time to read, just so you can form your own opinions on an issue that will likely impact you or your loved ones at some point.

- dp


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