Countdown to Election 2008. More political stuff all this week on “web video of the day.” Tune out if you can’t take it.
In case you’ve forgotten the original:
Just to be clear, I don’t highlight these videos out of any overwhelming admiration for Barack Obama — I’ll not be voting for him next week so much as I’ll be voting against John McCain — nor out of any huge belief that he will actually make any dramatic changes in Washington. (I’d like to think that he will, and I do think he offers a better chance to do so than McCain would, but I don’t expect much.)
The importance of this new “Wassup” video is in how the deep hope and desire for change that Obama represents is itself being expressed here. It is uniquely of this particular moment in time both culture wise and technology wise. Gen X may be so savvy about the machinations of marketing and the power of branding, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t nostalgic for old TV ads — it’s unlikely that Wednesday is Prince spaghetti day for us, but we know the over-the-counter remedy for that’s-a-spicy-meatball.
So of course we express a longing for the past through the lens of a TV ad from that time. I doubt I’d have believed in 1999 that that original Budweiser commercial was sweet or gentle or carefree — I probably thought it was mindless — but that’s how it looks to me today. (It shocks me to think that the 90s were a kind of happy-go-lucky golden age, but that’s how it feels now, too.) Particularly when contrasted with the 2008 version… which is not a production of the Budweiser people, of course, just of weisenheimers of a certain wistful bent whom I would bet are no younger than 30 and no older than 45.