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Stretching beer spots to 71/2 minutes

Feb 10, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Wassup in TV’s beer wars?
It’s not just talking frogs and bikini babes in titillating 30-second spots anymore.
Make way for the suds-selling “movie-mercial.”
Anheuser-Busch, the Budweiser and Michelob brewer and distributor, has raised the bar with a new 71/2-minute short film “insert” that has started airing on Comedy Central and FX, Fox’s general entertainment basic-cable network.
The mega-spot had its national television premiere last Wednesday in FX’s telecast of “Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo,” the 1999 theatrical comedy starring Rob Schneider (“Saturday Night Live”) and Eddie Griffin (“Undercover Brother”), where it was the only commercial interruption. It was also scheduled to air Saturday, Feb. 8, on Comedy Central after an episode of “Absolutely Fabulous.”
Next weekend, on Feb. 15, it is set to air on VH-1.
The mega-spot, titled “The Best Man,” takes a page from the wildly successful series of recent short BMW movies. But where the BMW ads, which premiered on the Internet, were cinematic and subtle, the Bud insert is a flat-out, laugh-out-loud comedy in which the best man makes outrageous remarks at a wedding reception.
“Best Man” is from Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide, based in Chicago, and is an extension of Bud’s recent “Wassup/True/That Is Correct” campaigns.
Unlike those widely seen commercials, insiders say, the mega-spot has been brewed up especially for cable. However, like the BMW films, “The Best Man” premiered last month on the Net, debuting on actor Kevin Spacey’s TriggerStreet.com Web site, which is also sponsored by Budweiser.
While the insert has so far aired only on FX and Comedy Central, the likelihood is that Turner Broadcasting’s TNT and TBS SuperStation will soon be showing it as well, according to ad sales insiders.
DDB referred a query about “The Best Man” to the client. Anheuser-Busch did not reply to requests for comment.