This election campaign ad must be driving the people at Budweiser crazy. It's a parody of Budweiser's "Wassup" ad with a very different and partisan message and it already has over 2 million views on YouTube. It shows that our Wassup friends have not not done so well in the Bush years and ends with a call to vote for change and Obama.
Burt Helm did some digging (details here) and found out that this new ad was made by the original director Charles Stone III and includes most of the original cast. That's why it looks so good. But how could that happen? Surely, Budweiser has the rights? According to Stone, the answer is "no." They never owned the idea and they just leased the rights (for $37,000). As he says: "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."
From the Budweiser perspective, this is pretty much a disaster from a brand association perspective. The only good news is that there's a "does not reflect the opinions of Anheuser-Busch" disclaimer at the end of the ad which they'll have to hope works as intended. A little more generous allocation of funds to the rights ownership bucket might be in order in the future.
(Here's the original Wassup ad in case you want to see it.)