The former Miami Heat teammates are helping to remind people to check in with loved ones during the pandemic

By Jason Duaine Hahn
April 24, 2020 01:38 PM

Former Miami Heat teammates Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh — along with actress Gabrielle Union, WNBA legend Candace Parker and DJ D-Nice — are bringing back a staple of the late '90s to remind people of something important during these difficult times.

In a new Budweiser ad that hearkens back to the beer brand's iconic "Whassup!?" commercials, Wade and Bosh greet each other over a group video chat. Bosh then tells Wade he's "re-watching" old games, alluding to the suspension of the NBA season following the coronavirus pandemic. The conversation closely follows the dialogue of the original ad.

The two are then joined by DJ D-Nice and Parker, before Union — Wade's wife of six years — appears onscreen and immediately starts a "whassup!?" chain reaction, complete with everyone's tongues sticking out.

But things take a serious tone when Wade and Union ask everyone on the chat how they're really doing amid the pandemic.

"For real, though, what's up with everybody?" Wade asks.

"Yeah, you guys staying safe?" Union adds.

Bosh thanks the couple for asking, and says his family is doing "great."

"It's really nice to see you guys," he says. "We have no complaints, but it's crazy times."

Credit: Michael Reaves/Getty Images

A message then appears that includes a number for the Salvation Army (844-458-HOPE), which offers help to people feeling lonely during self-isolation.

"Checking in, that's whassup," the message says.

In a statement, Budweiser's vice president of marketing says the company decided to revisit its iconic ad to help shine a light on the importance of human connection when millions of people are being asked to stay indoors to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

“Thanks to modern technology, we’re able to remain virtually connected in ways that otherwise we would not have been able to within the current distance-mandated climate,” Monica Rustgi said. “In times like these, something as simple as a hello, or in this case ‘whassup,’ means a lot."

"Following the unbelievable success of the original ad campaign, we found this to be a meaningful opportunity to revisit the original spot’s simplicity and focus on human connection in a time when people may be feeling hopeless, uncertain, and alone," she continued. "Our hope is that by getting people to check-in, we can play a small part in bringing the world closer together during these trying times.”

Chris Bosh and Dwayne Wade
| Credit: Budweiser/YouTube

“My wife and I wanted to partner with Budweiser because we believe the message is crucial,” added Wade. “We both remembered the original ‘whassup’ ads and love the idea of bringing them back as a genuine PSA to connect with each other. We encourage everyone to take a moment out from their day to check-in, and I look forward to connecting with people across the country while having a Bud and re-watching a game soon.”