For Buffalo, the biggest star in Sunday Night’s Super Bowl commercials was not David Beckham, Scarlett Johansson or even cuddly ’80s alien ALF. It was Ian Rappaport, a 2009 Buffalo State College graduate and the unwitting star of Bud Light’s “Up for Whatever” commercial.
In the commercial (and in real life), a beautiful girl offers Rappaport a Bud Light as long as he’s “up for whatever happens next.” When he accepts, he’s whisked away to a bachelorette party in a stretch limousine DJ’d by musician Reggie Watts, gets a style makeover by famous actress Minka Kelly, ends up in an elevator with Don Cheadle and a llama, en route to a party where he beats Arnold Schwarzenegger in pingpong. Finally, a wall drops to reveal a cheering audience and lands him on stage with the band OneRepublic.
“The best night of my life!” Rappaport screams into the camera.
That excitement continued into Monday, as he partied with an entourage of 20 family and friends at the Bud Light Lounge in New York City on Anheuser-Busch’s tab.
“Life is so good right now,” Rappaport said by phone. “It has just been so insane and overwhelming.”
Rappaport swears he had no idea he was being pulled into a commercial three weeks ago when he showed up to participate in a focus group, for which he thought he was being paid $1,000.
“It could have turned out differently if I had decided not to get into that limo, but I took a chance,” he said. “That’s the kind of person I am, and I guess Bud Light saw that.”
Rappaport, who is from Long Island, lived in the dorms at Buffalo State College while studying public communication. He was a regular at J.P. Bullfeathers on Elmwood Avenue, worked at Dug’s Dive and describes himself as a “very pro-Buffalo person.”
“I love Buffalo. It was an amazing place for me,” he said. “I mean, having the Albright-Knox across from your school? Unbelievable!”
Today, Rappaport works for CMS Consulting Group, an advertising agency in New Jersey.