The Big Game Hall of Fame: Week 7

True impact

On February 4, two NFL teams will come together on the biggest stage in sports to vie for football supremacy. The day after, the cream of advertising’s creative crop will convene in New York to declare one Super Bowl ad the best of the year and will proudly honor it with the 4th annual Super Clio.

To help set the stage, we are going to spend the next few weeks leading up to the big game highlighting the greatest Super Bowl ads of all time. Those pop culture touchstones that are still referenced today, and which helped cement football’s championship showcase as the most important date on the calendar for agencies and brands.

WEEK SEVEN: Budweiser, “True”  

Air Date: January 30, 2000

Super Bowl XXXIV (St. Louis Rams 23/Tennessee Titans 16))

Although it didn’t debut at the Super Bowl (its first appearance was actually during Monday Night Football in December 1999), “True” – also known simply as “Wassup?”— had arguably the greatest pop culture impact thanks to its bow at the big game. Creative director Vinny Warren and art director Chuck Taylor, both of DDB Chicago at the time, came across a short film titled True written and directed by Charles Stone III and featuring his actual childhood friends. Warren and Taylor sold Budweiser on the idea of building a spot around the guys and brought in Stone to direct. The result was nothing short of a pop culture phenomenon, which saw the catchphrase turned into memes and referenced on The Simpsons and in the film Scary Movie.

budweiser wassup commercial

It ranks as a personal favorite of David Rolfe’s, the executive vice president, director of integrated production at BBDO New York and a 2018 Super Clio juror. As he explains: “Aside from the numerous highbrow boxes 'Wassup?' checks: cultural semiotics, memeing before memes, completely anti-ephemeral, catchphrase supernova, embracing-rather-than-denying appropriation…the spot is flat out infectiously hilarious and totally adorbs (to appropriate a Lubarsian expression), historically speaking!"


Meet the rest of the 2018 Super Clio jury right here