This unofficial Obama ad, released by 60 Frames, builds on the famous “Wassup” Budweiser campaign from 2000 that got DDB a Cannes Grand Prix and a Grand Clio.
Eight years later, instead of relaxing “seeing the game, having a bud”, the friends are now stressing over War in Iraq, economic and environmental catastrophes, unemployment, home foreclosure and rising healthcare bills.
The once good-humored cry of “wassup” now assumes a distinctly desperate tone, with one of the characters even trying to kill himself has he watches the stock market crash on his computer screen (but he ends up also crashing, in a reminder of the suicide scene of Emir Kusturica’s Arizona Dream)
The sequence acts as a powerful indictment of the disastrous Bush years, to which McCain is almost subliminally linked (if you pay attention, you can distinctly hear McCain’s “evil wizard” voice coming from the TV set at the beginning of the ad).
Taking on the upbeat nation portrayed in the original 2000 campaign, Bush now leaves a busted and depressed country, in which the most positive character is actually the one fighting in Iraq (although it could be said that’s just because 60 Frames wouldn’t dare to serve voters more graphic imagery than a soldier calling home from a payphone – and, by the way, they were smart not to overpress the point).
After all the gloom and doom, however, there’s a soothing note, as an Obama ad plays on the TV set, prompting the hopeful line that “change” is coming. Yes, the country may be broken, but there’s no reason to start hanging ourselves from the ceiling.
Well, not yet at least – we can always leave that rope in reserve, just in case we wake up on November 5th to the doomsday scenario of Palin walking around in the Oval Office without a straitjacket.
Fortunately, though, that’s looking increasingly unlikely. And in case you pick up the phone to one of those McCain’s robocalls, you can just shout back “Wassup!!” I bet that will make you feel a whole lot better.
The Original Ad