Birds v humans in ambitious Tooheys 5 Seeds cider launch

Lion Nathan has undertaken an ambitious social media launch for its Birds vs Humans project for new Tooheys Extra Dry cider brand 5 Seeds.  

Set in a prehistoric alternative world where birds rather than humans are at the top of the food chain, the campaign connects its TV work back to a complex backstory on Facebook and YouTube.

The campaign makes use of one of YouTube’s little known abilities to directly link from one video to another. It means that consumers are able to take the storyline from the video in more than one direction.

There has also been a 5Seeds Twitter profile for the last three weeks or so, which has been giving away pirzes to those who can find apples in an elaborate treaure hunt.

The campaign has been created by ad agency BMF and digital agency Holler.

5Seeds applesThe launch – which saw the ad break on TV last night, has also been backed by an elaborate trade press teaser PR campaign.

Pavement messages outside Mumbrella’s office were followed last week by a mysterious box containing a bird nest, eggs and a scroll with a link to myserious URL.

This morning a larger, padlocked package arrived. A seperate URL link, produced a number for the combination lock. The package contained apples and an icebox full of the cider.


Creative Agency – BMF

Executive Creative Director – Warren Brown

Creative Director – Simon Langley

Associate Creative Director / Copywriter – Richard Morgan

Art Director – Nils Eberhardt

Group Account Director – Nick Garrett

Account Director – Lenya Kovacevic

Account Manager – Elisabeth Spence

Executive Planning Director – Jeremy Nicholas

Strategic Planner – Director – Simon McCrudden

TV Producer – Mandy Payne

Director – Michael Spiccia

Production Company – Good Oil Productions

Production Company Producer – Sam Long

Sound Studio – Song Zu

Post-Grade – The Lab

Post-Online – Fin Design

Music Composer – Elliott Wheeler

Visual Effects Supervisor – Justin Bromley

DOP – Danny Ruhlmann

Editor – Stewart Reeves (Guillotine)

Media planning and buying:

Agency – Zenith Optimedia

Digital strategy:

Agency – Holler Sydney


  1. Warlach
    12 Oct 09
    1:45 pm

  2. Fantastic idea.

    Fantastic execution.

    One issue – I don’t think I’m alone with finding out what the product is and going “WTF?” – this isn’t to criticise the idea, it’s perfect, I just don’t get why it was used for this product.

    It may as well have got to the reveal and said “Have you got Clamidia? Get tested today!”

  3. Julian Cole
    12 Oct 09
    1:50 pm

  4. This has certainly lifted the bar for Digital/Social in Australia! Well done Holler, any chance of a break down of who was involved in the Holler team?


  5. Mike Watkins
    12 Oct 09
    1:56 pm

  6. Think the idea is great, however the Youtube strategy looks extremely similar to the Metropolitan Police Service ‘a different ending’ campaign earlier this year –

    The Apple hunt campaign looks a bit like one green beans i spy levi’s strategy that also occured earlier in the year –

    Execution is great. Originality is lacking.

  7. mumbrella
    12 Oct 09
    1:58 pm

  8. I’m certainly happy to publish credits for Holler if somone can flick them over. (I’ve a feeling they’re currently driving around Sydney delivering boxes of apples…)


    Tim – Mumbrella

  9. Craig
    12 Oct 09
    2:05 pm

  10. So now instead of a single 30 second spot, I have to watch several ads. And if I choose the wrong path, I have to waste even more time. Fail.

  11. Julian Cole
    12 Oct 09
    2:08 pm

  12. Thanks Tim!

    Michael, I think they were smart with the treasure hunt to launch on Facebook. In my opinion Twitter is too niche and running the competition on Facebook allowed more people to get involved.

    Video annotations have been around for awhile and a number of brands have been using them, I do not think you can say they were copying the Police Services. It is kind of like suggesting anyone who uses QR codes is copying Telstra

  13. Mike Watkins
    12 Oct 09
    2:35 pm

  14. Hey Julian,

    Totally agree with both points, its just that I don’t see the strategy to be really groundbreaking.

    Really keen to know your thoughts on setting up the 5 seeds facebook page as a short term destination for brand activity and engagement. How much activity do you think will be on the page in 4 months time?

    Will it be stagnant or will Tooheys keep running promotional content through it. To me pages should act as a long term connection between brands and consumers, going through all the work to gain a decent fan base to only desert them 2 months later seems like both a) a lot of money for a short term gain and b) an underappreciation of consumer sentiment for the brand.

    Given your background, really keen to know what you think!


  15. Mike Hill
    12 Oct 09
    2:37 pm

  16. Hi Guys,

    Glad some of you enjoyed the ride! It’s certainly been fun for us.

    You can follow some of the blogger outreach work by searching twitter for #birdsvshumans

    And here, by popular demand, are the hard working soldiers at Holler Sydney. I hope I haven’t forgotten anyone…

    Director – Mike Hill
    Tim Buesing – Creative Director
    Chris Jeffree – Lead Designer
    Tony Wild – Copywriter
    Claire van Heyningen – Exec Producer
    Mic Wernej – Senior Project Manager
    Suzette Mackenzie – Senior Account Director
    Dom Felton – Junior Account Manager
    Matt Kendall – Head of Influencer Marketing
    Lukasz Karluk – Interactive Developer
    Razif Djamaluddin – Visual Effects Designer
    Tim Drew – Senior Flash Developer
    Luke Lu – Developer

  17. Lauren
    12 Oct 09
    3:08 pm

  18. This is a great campaign which I look forward to seeing unfold further. Kudos to all agencies involved for the successful sell-in, I imagine it was hardwork.

    Mike Watkins, your comments about the facebook page are interesting. I agree that it probably won’t have a huge amount of relevant content in a few months time but does it really need to?

    I think it is a really smart move by TED to execute the whole story via facebook rather than from a microsite. It is cost efficient and also lends itself to organic swell due to the nature of its host (ie a mircosite would have had difficulty gaining the same sort of traction without the ‘instant’ community that facebook provides access to). I love that finally we have an Australian brand not set on building microsites just for the sake of it. It is a brilliant example of using web 2.0 facilities for their intended purpose.

    Well done – I wish I had a client that was as brave!

  19. Si
    12 Oct 09
    5:06 pm

  20. Lauren – Completely agree. I think the execution of this ad is excellent and the use of social networks tools has been well planned with key objectives in mind – far too often you see business using tools / marketing channels for the sake of it without any clear objectives in mind (especially microsites!).

    I thought this ad is highly engaging, great to watch and memorable.

    Great work all.

  21. John Grono
    12 Oct 09
    5:59 pm

  22. Thanks Tim for telling us upfront it was for cider. Sorry, I bailed after a few click-throughs when neither my curiousity nor appetite had been whetted.

  23. Harry
    13 Oct 09
    8:52 am

  24. I agree with some of the comments above. The overall campaign idea is good and very well produced. The TV work feels really big. The online work however is the bit that spoils the apple cart. It lacks originality (UK police campaign to name just one example on YouTube) and the feed the feral game is a real let down. Applause for a huge effort overall.

  25. Angus
    13 Oct 09
    10:03 am

  26. Honestly, this bores me. I appreciate it in so far as opening people’s minds to different ways of doing things but to me it feels half hearted, pointless and unoriginal.

  27. Lyn
    13 Oct 09
    10:36 pm

  28. Don’t rate the TVC. More confusing than captivating. Prefer to change channels or walk out of the room when it’s on.

  29. Terry T
    15 Oct 09
    4:53 pm

  30. If birds did indeed eat the apple of knowledge, and assumed the role of dominant species, wouldn’t they be launching mustard gas capsules from ground artillery units on these hapless scavengers? Just a thought.

  31. BP
    19 Oct 09
    9:40 am

  32. Complete rubbish.

    Another great example of an overpaid agency, a weak client without a decent brief, and consumer who is has been completely forgotten.
    I wouldn’t want to be the brand person who has to show that at a Lion Senior leadership meeting.

    Please let me know if anyone decides to actually buy 5 seeds after watching that dribble.

  33. Will Egan
    9 Nov 09
    8:00 pm

  34. Wow!

    What a socially engaging and interactive campaign. I really liked the use of the Youtube Annotation features.

    Very impressive, but I found a few problems. Watch my review!

    Will Egan


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