David Lamb and I had been fighting throughout the two Bud Light shoots. The spots were hugely important because Needham had a tiny piece of AB business, the Busch Beer Cowboy stuff I had been shooting for a few years. AB was entrenched with their agency in St. Louis, Darcy. AB had thrown Needham a bone by allowing them to pitch the new and important account. We had shot three prior commercials that the brewery liked, but they didn’t believe we could sustain a campaign so they said do three more.
There were a bunch of really stupid issues during the first shoot. When I was first approached, I was told that they wanted a ‘truth’ in sport. Good luck with that. Then I was sent a script about a relay team that was all white. Things worked out but not without hardship. I remember dropkicking a can of soda about fifty yards on the football spot after some issue and for some reason that changed the tenor of the shoot for the better.
David and I were arguing about this latest script. The storyline was that an aging pitcher was being scouted in the minor leagues. It was his last chance. The script ended by having the pitcher field a bunt and throw the runner out.
Lame is lame. Weak.
At the time, my Pittsburgh Pirates had two of the greatest hitters in baseball, Willie Stargell and Dave Parker.
He should strike out Willie Stargell.
By a miracle we came to an agreement. I cast my friend Tony King (Maleek Farrakhan) who had an intimidating appearance. The looks between Tony and the pitcher had a undeniable racial tension.
The spot won one of only two Cannes Lions given to the United States that year.