This week marks the passing of Michael Roarty, the legendary beer marketer and Advertising Hall of Fame member who for four decades oversaw iconic campaigns at Anheuser-Busch. Among them were the beloved "This Bud's For You" ads.
The theme of this particular spot, which came out in 1979, is to serve as a salute hardworking men and women across America --including construction workers, chefs, secretaries, ship captains, and window washers. Bud is toasting them with a cold, frothy brewski at the end of a long day. The voiceover at the end is by singer Lou Rawls; using him was a milestone because he was one of the first African-Americans to lend his talents to the company, and no less remarkably, in helping to sell a beer targeted mostly at white workers.
This spot was one of many for A-B over the last century created by the now defunct D'Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles in St. Louis. The shop, which had a nearly 80-year relationship with the brewer, was behind some of the most memorable Bud ads in history including the "Bud Bowl" ads and the "Budweiser Frogs". That all ended in 1994, when A-B decided it wanted some new blood on the business and handed it to DDB in Chicago (which has also since lost the account; it's now with several different shops including Anomaly, Translation and others).
This Bud's for you, Michael.