As we navigate these uncertain times, the yearning for connection is even stronger. By this point, we’ve all been invited to various Zoom meetings, family FaceTimes, virtual happy hours, house parties (via app) and more. As such, Budweiser launched a campaign in partnership with The Salvation Army “in response to rising levels of anxiety, uncertainty, and fear resulting from the pandemic.”
The campaign actually kicked off last week featuring Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade checking in with DJ D-Nice, Candace Parker and Chris Bosh. In this latest episode, Union and Wade call up a few more friends including Issa Rae, Yvonne Orji, Emmy Raver-Lampman and Daveed Diggs.
You may recognize the schtick in the PSA as a throwback to the 1999 Budweiser commercial that made waves throughout pop culture. Everybody and their mama (and movies!) were saying the catchphrase, “whassaaaaaap!” Since I was a goofy teen during the time of its release (Spoiler Alert for my past self: I grew up to be a goofy adult, too), I found it so funny and would, of course, reenact it occasionally with my hoodrat friends.
In the spirit of edutainment, the funny and heartwarming video has a larger purpose. Per the press release, sent to The Root:
As part of the campaign, Budweiser will make a donation to The Salvation Army for essential support of those in need due to COVID-19.
Every day at 6:00 PM EST, Budweiser will be offering its community the chance to say “whassup” through a host of interactive activations on its social platforms. This is headlined by “whassup” live chats every Thursday via Instagram Live on @BudweiserUSA where different celebrities will check in while having a Bud and answering questions submitted by fans. The program will kick off with Dwyane Wade tomorrow, April 30, at 6:00 PM EST.
The Salvation Army has trained staff available for English and Spanish speakers every day from 9:00 AM - 11:00 PM EST at 1-844-458-HOPE (4673). Callers are encouraged to leave a message if they call after hours.
“My wife and I wanted to partner with Budweiser because we believe the message is crucial,” Wade said in a statement. “We both remembered the original ‘whassup’ ads and love the idea of bringing them back as a genuine PSA to connect with each other. We encourage everyone to take a moment out from their day to check-in with their friends and loved ones during this difficult time.”
The full schedule of events is listed below:
Monday: “Merch Mondays” feature giveaways to fans for the chance to receive limited-edition “whassup” merchandise.
Tuesday: Engage with our “whassup” topics to discuss occasions that bring people together such as watching TV together, sharing meals, and having a Bud.
Wednesday: “whassup” throwbacks bring followers back to the 90’s so they can relive the original ad and share it with their friends, family and followers. Followers will also have the chance to submit questions for Thursday’s Live “whassup” chats.
Thursday: “Whassup” Live Chats feature different celebrities checking-in over a Bud and answering questions submitted by fans over social media.
Friday: Celebrate the end of the workweek with Budweiser and check in with your friends while enjoying a well-earned Friday beer.
Saturday: Compete in Budweiser’s “whassup” challenges over social media to win exclusive merchandise, free beer and other prizes.
Sunday: Share your best “whassup” videos on social media with the hashtag #whassup and you may be featured as part of the “whassups of the week” on Budweiser’s channels.