Monthly Archives: July 2011
This week’s article is another short one, but also part of the Budweiser Frog series. This time let’s talk about the Budweiser Tree Frog who only appeared in one commercial. The commercial is about Bud calling out his name but hears a faint “Weis” from a female voice. Cause the voice is clearly not from Weis himself. So Bud keeps calling out his name, while the latter does the same. This repeats until Bud meets face to face with a female tree frog who winks at him. Bud grins at the end, hinting that he’s going to get lucky tonight. Like the Alligator, the female Tree Frog was only used in one commercial with no other appearances. There isn’t anything else to say about this frog sadly. So next week, I’ll conclude the Budweiser Frog series with one more character and then go on to do a non-beer related article.
A one time only (from what I know) character that only appeared in one commercial of the Budweiser Frog series. The commercial is about the three frogs sitting on the back of a gator and they enter the bar which causes a racket for all of the patrons. The gator & frogs leave out through the back door and are revealed carrying a crate of Budweiser. Which is tied to the tail of the gator. Tango music is played as the gator dances towards the swamp with the frogs on his back. Implying they’ll be having a party with music and beer. Not much to say about this commercial other than it’s the first one to include humans, but very briefly. And the Alligator puppet is as detailed as the Frog puppets themselves. There’s other adventures the gator could of had other than helping the Frogs get beer from a bar they weren’t able to go inside. Oh well, they did make a figurine on the gator though.
Other than the frogs, the Budweiser Chameleons were also popular mascots for the Budweiser commercials. While their first commercials, they aren’t officially mascots of the beer. In fact in their first commercial we learn they were meant to be the mascots of Budweiser. Louie is the name of the one chameleon who was dissatisfied with Budweiser’s decision to hire the frogs instead of the chameleons for the commercials. Louie’s friend Frank however isn’t as over reacting as Louie is. Through their commercials, Louie would try to taunt the Frogs due to the Frogs’ chanting of saying their own names out loud in front of the bar. Louie went as far as trying to kill them, which ultimately failed. After Weis got shock he is unable to say and he gradually twitches, Louie was happy to replace him in saying “Weis” for “Bud” & “Er”. Within time Louie broke the news to “Bud” & “Er” that they got can, Bud & Er were so shock by the news that they reverted to talking instead of chanting their names. Louie was shocked that they could actually speak and thought that they including Weis were simple-minded amphibians. The frogs didn’t take the news likely and gave Louie a lip lash(using their tongues like whips). Finally the remaining commercials had just Louie & Frankie as the new mascots along with the Ferret(more on him another time).
Like the frogs, Frank & Louie were created by the Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Their Brooklyn accents and wise crack lines is one of the reasons they are as popular as the Frogs are. After most parents claim that their kids are being influenced by the Frogs, Bud, Weis, & Er were no longer part of these commercials by 1998. Louie & Frankie remained as they didn’t appear to be as controversial as the frogs were. Since the chameleons were regarded to have gain the attention of the mature audience rather than the youth audience. Frank & Louie continued to star in Budweiser commercials until the early 2000s. Which was thus the end of the Budweiser Frog series. Merchandise has been made for the chameleons like the frogs have. Including a “Frank & Louie’s Greatest Hits” CD which was released back in March, 1999. Despite that they’re gone like the frogs, I’m sure one day we’ll see Frank & Louie along with the Frogs make a come back. That can happen if everyone were to demand for their return.
To start this blog with some articles I decided to do one on a beer commercial. With none other than the Budweiser Frogs themselves! Back in the 90s you didn’t need erotic scenes or swimsuit models to advertise beer, no you only need certain animals to do the job. Budweiser had plenty of them, but the ones that stood out the most was Bud, Weis, & Er. These three frogs would call out their own names separately to form the word “Budweiser” repeatedly. The commercials take place at a swamp, with a bar that proudly hangs a neon sign of Budweiser. The state it’s located was never mentioned, to me I always think of the swamp Kermit lived in during his rainbow song from “The Muppet Movie”. The time of day is almost always night-time in these commercials. Only rare occasions was it day time. Other than saying their names, the trio has done other things. Including hitching a ride on a truck, something Frogger never accomplished. Test ride a jet propelled boat that’s park out in front of the bar. I always wonder if that boat was own by an actual boat racer. If so what business does he have there other than getting a drink? There’s also one where all three of the frogs got their tongue stuck on a froze bottle of Bud during a violent snow storm. The only time you see the weather change in these commercials. I’d love to mention other adventures Bud, Weis, & Er had including the minor and new characters they later encounter. But I’ll be doing articles on those guys for the upcoming weeks.
They made they’re first debut back in 1995 for Super Bowl XXIX. Created by David Swaine, Michael Smith and Mark Choate of DMB&B/St. Louis. The first commercial was directed by Gore Verbinski who would later direct the Pirates of the Caribbean Movies. All three frogs were animatronic puppets that were built from The Character Shop, known for making animatronics, puppets, and special effects for movies and TV commercials. The company only took three weeks to create these amphibians. It required seven people to operate these puppets. Two for each frog and one to control a mechanism that makes each of them look like they are breathing. To me these frogs are very well designed. They look like frogs, yet do stuff real frogs can’t do. To think Bud, Weis, & Er were created way before “Sgt. Frog” was created!
These frogs were the best mascots for Budweiser for a life time. And not many of their other mascots made big impacts to the public. So why did Budweiser give these guys the boot? All because of the “Joe Camel” syndrome where parent complained that kids recognise these frogs along with Ronald McDonald & Tony the Tiger from a 1996 study. Parents feared that Budweiser was trying to turn kids into alcoholics from these commercials. Budweiser however denied they were trying to do such a thing. The parents won’t shut up about the frogs being a bad influence so the Budweiser commercials on the frogs slowed down by A.) Introduce the more adult oriented chameleons Frank & Louie & B.) Make a commercial where Louie tells the Frogs they’re fired. Also it might also have something to do with the hoax about downloading a certain Budweiser Frog screen saver will unleash a virus that’ll deleted everything on your PC.
Despite they’re not around anymore, I myself found these frogs to be the best mascots from Budweiser. They were original and people made more satires and parodies on these guys than any other beer mascot. And that’s quite an accomplishment there. They’re also one of the hand full of mascots I’d love to see on TV again. But ever since Budweiser change they’re advertising scheme and nagging parents complaining about the frogs popularity with their own kids. It’s very unlikely in this day and age. However they have a better chance than Joe Camel does. So to wrap this up here’s a couple of commercials I found with just the frogs along with one parody on them.