Will Ferrell Doing Low Budget Beer Commercials for Free
“Ladies and gentlemen, can I please have your attention. I have just been handed an urgent and horrifying news story and I need all of you to stop what your doing and listen!” (Will Ferrell, Anchorman). No it’s not a cannonball, but Will Ferrell is being hilariously strange again. Why you ask? He’s starring in low budget Old Milwaukee commercials that only air in Davenport, Iowa and Terre Haute Indiana. I should also mention he’s doing it for free. According to the Pabst Brewing Company, the makers of Old Milwaukee, Ferrell approached them and offered to make commercials for them for free if they only aired in Davenport, Iowa. “Will approached Old Milwaukee because he’s a big fan of the beer and thought it would be fun to make the commercials, and we couldn’t be more excited that he did,” Pabst CMO Bryan Crowley told the Quad-City Times. So far, three hilarious 30-second spots have aired and since found their way to YouTube. The ads feature Ferrell declaring his love for Davenport and Old Milwaukee while he fishes on a log, fishes for beer by hand in the Mississippi river, and attempts to spell the towns name. After word spread about the Davenport ads, similar ones began popping up in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Two user-recorded videos of the commercials are now floating around the web. The Terre Haute ads are shot in the same low budget style, and one features Will walking through traffic on a busy intersection – Seventh and Wabash to be exact. All of the ads were shot on location in the two cities and it’s obvious that no one other then Will and his small film crew were aware of what was going on. True to their word, the commercials are only airing locally. This all begs the question of whether or not this is a joke. While the videos are still at the low end of going viral (the most watched one has, 245,153 views), Will Ferrell is definitely a man who knows his way around popular internet videos judging from the success of his popular website Funny or Die. The site promotes both original and user generated content, much of which goes viral, and features a multitude of appearances by celebrities. Ferrell’s first video, The Landlord has over 78 million views. With all that in mind, what is this Old Milwaukee venture building up to? Is this the start of a larger national advertising campaign? Why else is Will Ferrell, who is a California native, traveling all the way to these random cities to walk across a street? Whether it was on purpose or not, it’s very creative and funny marketing.