DDB Produces 17 More ‘Heroes’

New Entries Arrive in Award-Winning Bud Light Campaign
CHICAGO–DDB’s “Whassup?” campaign for Budweiser has garnered the lion’s share of national media attention, but the agency’s radio work for Bud Light has proved no less successful on the awards circuit.
The Chicago shop has just launched 17 new spots in its year-old “Heroes” effort, which subtly mocks the deep-throated narratives of “work-reward” advertising that for years was the standard for beer advertising.
“It turns it on its ear and makes it funny and relevant,” said John Immesoete, group creative director at DDB for the Anheuser-Busch brand.
“Heroes” follows up DDB’s well-received Bud Light radio work that had Charlton Heston handling similar over-the-top copy. The latest batch, which broke this month, continues to sarcastically honor obscure and unusual professions including “Mr. male football cheerleader,” “Mr. pro football cord carrier” and “Mr. jelly doughnut filler.”
DDB’s creatives originally wanted to use Bette Midler’s rendition of “Heroes” for the campaign, but troubles with the rights led to suggestions that something closer to the semihysteric vocals of Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger” be tried, Immesoete said. Singer Dave Bickler does a Michael Bolton-like take on the spot’s ridiculous lyrics.
Along with Bud’s “Whassup?” the “Heroes” campaign has kept DDB’s award walls filled–winning eight Andys, including the Grandy for best of show; three Clios, including a gold; a grand award from the New York Festivals; and the top award at the Radio-Mercury show (for “Mr. foot-long hot dog inventor”).
That success, along with popularity with A-B’s executives and the distribution network, has led to a virtual production line of new work creating the 17 new spots, following the 12 that ran during the campaign’s first year. “The request was just ‘Keep ’em coming.’ That’s what we do,” Immesoete said.
“Once we’ve figured it out, you have a format that people can follow,” Immesoete said. “Three or four people have really nailed the voice.” Key writers on the campaign include creative directors Bill Cimino and Mark Gross and associate creative director Bob Winter. K