Why Budweiser Can't Stop 'Whassup' Remix

Just as news organizations and rock bands sue to keep their good names out of political mudfights, one might think Budweiser would seek to quash that clever pro-Barack Obama remake of its annoying 'Whassup' ads from 2000. But it turns out the beermaker has no choice: Budweiser only licensed the concept from Charles Stone III after the filmmaker created it as a non-commercial short. The expired five-year license cost just $37,000, but Stone told BusinessWeek he's now happy about how things worked out:

Back then, people gave him a hard time about the low price. Now Stone, a diehard Obama supporter, says it’s more than paid off. “That I’m able to use an idea distributed by a huge company, who made a lot of money off it, so that now when I put out what I want to say, it’s recognizable, and it sparks — that’s worth $1 million to me.”

In this case, the idealistic position could also be the smart money move: "Whassup" suddenly looks like an iconic part of American culture rather than a cheesy flash-in-the-pan ad campaign. With another advertising deal, Stone can take that cachet to the bank, should he ever feel the need to do so.

The ad, in case you missed it here the first time: