Budweiser taps into the zeitgest of extreme headlines and fake news by creating an insane event of its own: the return of Prohibition.
On this very day, December 5, in 1933, the U.S. government ended Prohibition with the ratification of the 21st amendment. To remind modern-day drinkers of their valuable rights, along with David Miami, Bud pranked the patrons of an Atlanta bar by screening a faux news broadcast announcing Prohibition's return. News alerts also saying that the sale and manufacture of alcohol were now illegal also hit their smartphones.
The bartender, likely a plant, played along and pulled patrons' drinks as soon as word got out. It's hard to see how drinkers could fall for such an anachronistic move, but the film of the stunt shows customers clearly perturbed, chanting "We want beer!" One even calls the bartender a (bleeped out) "asshole."
According to David Creative Director Tony Kalathara, "It worked. People were calling their families concerned, shouting about their rights." But they weren't mad for long. Another faux newscast aired soon after announcing that alcohol was back, as giant kegs of Bud rolled into the bar.
"The challenge was to make Prohibition's Repeal and Budweiser's role in that achievement relevant to people today," Kalathara explains. "To many, it's a moment in history class synonymous with speakeasies and gangsters like Capone. But the actual moment is significant because it's the only time we as a country have amended our constitution to bring back rights taken away by a previous amendment. And Budweiser played a significant role in both lobbying for that repeal and being the first to celebrate its repeal."
Previously, Bud reached into history with the debut of a Pre-Prohibition recipe brew, 1933 Repeal Reserve, available for a limited run during the holidays and through the Prohibition Repeal anniversary.
Bud, which has worked regularly with Anomaly since 2011, recently has started to work with other shops, including Vayner Media and now, David. This is its first work out of the latter, known for pulling outrageous stunts for brands such as Burger King and Heinz.