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Whassup? was an ad campaign for Anheuser-Busch Budweiser beer from 1999 to 2002. This corruption of “what’s up?” became one of the fewest pop culture phenomenons to be heavily parodied both online and in mainstream.
The first spot aired on December 20, 1999, during ESPN Monday Night Football.
In the ad, one man would be sitting on the couch then receive a phone call, two guys talk, then another joins in, yelling “Wassup?”. All three of them in unison yell “Wassup?”. More people join and so on and so on.
The campaign was based on the short film “True”, directed by Charles Stone III, who also directed the commercials.
As the commercial picked up popularity, parodies started to appear online on pre-Youtube video and flash animation sites and even post 2005 (non-reuploads). Parodies even appeared in mainstream media, such as Scary Movie and both British and American versions of The Office.
At the same time the mainstream parodied Whassup? without denting popularity.
One of the first mainstream parodies is the Scary Movie parody.
In 2008 Charles Stone III directed this self-parody being critical of the Bush administration.
Even Budweiser created self parodies.
Google Insight shows stable popularity since 2004. However since the term “wassup” is too broad the results may not be reliable.
However seeing parodies throughout the decade and into 2010 it is certainly not unfeasible.
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