A-B enlists Spike Lee for Bud ads

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Anheuser-Busch is tapping filmmaker Spike Lee for a new series of Budweiser commercials.

The auteur has created several general-market TV spots for the brewer that are now awaiting production, insiders said. The ads are expected to air this fall.

The new creative is being done by Spike/ DDB, a joint venture between Mr. Lee and DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago, Bud's agency of record. Mr. Lee is the joint operation's creative director.

The spots grew out of discussions between the brewer and Spike/DDB that date back to spring. A visit by Mr. Lee to A-B headquarters was noted in St. Louis gossip columns.


Mr. Lee has a close relationship with the brewer, having last year created an A-B education spot for the College Fund/United Negro College Fund. The genesis of Spike/DDB lay in the cooperation between Mr. Lee and some Needham creative people on that spot. The first creative out of Spike/DDB was TV spots that broke this month for Showtime for the coming Evander Holyfield-Mike Tyson boxing rematch.


Meanwhile, DDB Needham is producing new Bud spots for the Texas market, where A-B is trying to break Miller Brewing Co.'s hold.

The Bud ads, expected to air this summer, feature Gus, the fictional Bud delivery guy who champions the beer's freshness.

The Gus ads would be the second Texas-only A-B campaign this year. In May, the brewer broke a Bud Light campaign that starred the "Bud Light ladies"--guys who dress like women in their quest for beer.


For its part, Miller last month aired Texas-specific ads produced by Fallon McElligott, Minneapolis, and Square One, Dallas.

A-B has launched a number of other regional ad or promotional campaigns in recent months, targeting Chicago, Florida, Hawaii and Pittsburgh.

Contributing: Laura Petrecca.

Copyright June 1997, Crain Communications Inc.

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