You are now entering Ad Space, a realm of commercials, brought before us so we might examine how they work, and discuss why we both love and hate them so. So it is written …
The Product: Bud Light beer
The Pitch: We’re gonna make this catchphrase happen, whether you like it or not.
I find it fascinating how certain ad campaigns can take on a life of their own.
The ad that began this whole “Dilly dilly!” saga was, in concept, a pretty standard commercial: someone is incredibly obsessed with the product being advertised, implying that it’s just that good. Only thing to make it stand apart from the crowd is the anachronistic medieval setting and it’s repeated attempts to make the cheer “Dilly dilly!” a thing.
But that was enough to get further commercials made using the same rough characters and premise … and things just exploded from there.
More characters get introduced, more running gags, topical references, even some ongoing storylines. After a while, it begins to resemble less a series of commercials, and more a middle of the road comic strip (maybe it’s just the Middle Ages setting, but think The Wizard of Id). A not terribly well-defined cast of characters trot out at regular intervals to do a quick gag, that may or may not be chuckle-worthy, but are at least agreeably pleasant, and have a sort of comforting familiarity.
Sure, there’s always Bud Light present, but in time that starts to feel less like the reason these characters exist, and more like a running gag about their favorite food (like Garfield and lasagna, if he felt the need to specify Stouffer’s Frozen Lasagna each time).
If Budweiser went bankrupt and stopped production tomorrow, I could totally see some fans starting a “Save Our Show!” campaign to keep this series of commercials going, even if they no longer had a product to promote. I’m not saying such a campaign would be successful, but that a bunch of beer ads could develop enough of their own identity and their own fanbase … that’s a feat worth cheering.