Kassi Ashton Makes Commercial Debut as Face of New Budweiser Craft Beer
If there's one thing Kassi Ashton knows (besides music, of course) it's beer. And, specifically, Budweiser beer—a brand that's indigenous, like her, to Missouri. As the singer explains, the lager is a fixture at her father's house:
"My dad is a complete Budweiser freak. When you go to his house, and he says 'Do you want a drink?' and you say yes—he says 'I’ve got two options: A 12-oz Budweiser, or a 16-oz Budweiser,'” she laughs.
Given that, as well as Ashton's emerging presence on the music scene as an independent woman who can hold her own—on stage, in a bar, or anywhere else—it's not much of a surprise that Budweiser has chosen her to be the face of its newest offering, Reserve Copper Lager, a collaboration with Jim Beam Whiskey.
Ashton stars in the new brew's commercial, a classic-meets-modern production that combines the brand's iconic Clydesdale horses with a sassy message from Ashton, who tells a bartender, "It's been a long time comin'," when he serves her up a tall one of the new variety. Fans can watch her performance above.
Speaking to Taste of Country on set in Los Angeles filming the commercial at a local bar, Ashton admitted that Budweiser had originally looked at more recognizable actresses for the lager's launch, but ended up laying their bets on the "California, Missouri," singer, who's also featured on Keith Urban's Graffiti U album on a track called "Drop Top."
"I’m new, but they believe in me and I believe in them," she explains with a smile. "[They said] 'You’re from Missouri—St. Louis, Missouri where the brewery is—you’re an all-American girl, Budweiser runs through your family veins. We like your personality; let's do it.' And I almost fainted.”
Ashton eagerly accepted the role, although she had never acted in a commercial before. "It was really easy, it didn’t feel like work at all," she notes, adding that it was a bit different from starring in a music video. "With me, everything creative in a music video, I came up with; I kind of created. The outfit I’m wearing, I designed and sewed myself. It’s more of a controlled environment, you know what’s going on. This? Even thought you’re in great hands, it’s like, 'What part do you want me to play?' instead of me filling in what I knew I needed."
Not to worry—Ashton had it all down, even to the point of getting her first taste of the new beer on set. She wasn't able to appreciate it fully at first.
"My first time drinking it was on stage saying lines," she relates. "Your brain isn’t working, because you’re trying to look cute and hold the beer and do your lines." But later? When she had a moment to think,she realized, "this is really good!"
What also is "really good"—as critical and fan acclaim can attest—is Ashton's overall approach to country music, both as a female artist and simply as a unique artist who isn't willing to be boxed into any parameters. The singer has been compared to everyone from the late Amy Winehouse to Adele to Beyonce.
"I actually like that people can’t put a pin on [my sound], because if you can put a pin on it, it’s been done before," she smiles. "People with different opinions all find what they like in me—‘I like her because she’s like this,’ and someone else is like ‘I like her because she’s like this.’
"I hope and pray that people see that I own it completely and it couldn’t be more authentic and any more me than it is," she elaborates. "Because even if you have a not so great opinion about something, and you see that it is exactly what it is—no smoke and mirrors—you’re like, ‘Okay, at least I can respect that. Because it doesn’t feel fake to me.’"
Okay, and back to that new lager. What would Dad, the Budweiser purist think?
"I think he's going to like it," Ashton says with a big grin.
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