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Spike Lee directed beer ads debut

Anheuser-Busch will unveil new advertisements this weekend as part of its “Here’s to Beer” campaign.

This weekend’s ads ask a simple question: With whom would you most like to drink a beer?

In a spot directed by Spike Lee, Lee stars and answers the question himself: Jackie Robinson.

In another ad (also directed by Lee) Michael Imperioli, who plays the character Christopher Moltisanti on The Sopranos, chooses Humphrey Bogart.

Although these ads are financed by A-B they don’t highlight Anheuser-Busch beers. The “Here’s to Beer” campaign officially is a Beer Institute project.

“It does line up beautifully with the whole notion of elevating and enhancing the image of beer,” said Bob Lachky, executive vice president of global industry development at A-B’s domestic brewing unit. “Where else would you do that than with celebrities . . . who you wouldn’t think are beer drinkers?”

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports A-B also will take the idea to the Internet and radio talk shows.

“This whole premise of ‘Who would you like [to have] a beer with?’ has incredible legs,” Lachky said. “We envision this as [an industry] platform that can run a long time.”

Starting Monday, consumers can nominate their own ideal drinking partners at herestobeer.com. The five best entries will post a video explaining why they’d want to share a beer with that person. The winner, selected through an Internet vote, will get a trip to Munich, Germany, to attend Oktoberfest.

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