The bravest advertisers of 2012
In this roundup from the Encore and Mumbrella Annual, we remember the seven bravest advertisers from the last 12 months.
To shamelessly bombard the Australian public with wave after wave of irritating supermarket sing-alongs shows serious balls, if not bravery. But digging up ageing rockers Status Quo for a re-recording of the original Down, Deeper and Down, who played with guitars, drums and keyboards decorated with Coles’ trademark big red hands, showed true daring. Now on a tour of Australia, the track used in the ad is the very first song on the Quo’s new album, which is sold exclusively in Coles supermarkets.
The year after Maccas created the self-funded documentary McDonald’s Gets Grilled, the brand made another leap of faith in branded entertainment with a music video featuring X Factor finalist Johnny Ruffo. Gettin’ Serious was a 60-second R&B tune about love and Maccas’ new lamb burger, with lyrics such as: “I had my eyes on a prize, a Maccas lamb burger and fries on the side.” The idea was bold, even if some missed the intentionally ironic execution. McDonald’s also risked upsetting its four-year relationship with DDB Sydney to try out Leo Burnett, handing the agency its McCafé and Family accounts.
No brand could claim to be unique for using Sydney’s Martin Place for a marketing stunt. But the Lego forest, which featured 15 four-metre tall Lego pine trees and a smattering of Lego flowers, looked unworldly on a rainy day in wintery Sydney. The pop-up forest was transplanted to the outback, where it looked equally surreal. Recreating the most famous moments in Australian history out of the famous bricks was another fitting way to celebrate the brand’s 50th anniversary in Australia – and to inspire the builders of tomorrow. Not a bad shout for campaign of the year.
4. Care Aware
To think people would show up to a 24-hour, non-stop orchestral marathon – even in Melbourne – was taking a risk. Yes, the event was free, but it was broadcast live online.
The Impossible Orchestra even had an audience at Hamer Hall in the small hours as Melburnians flocked to see performances by the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Victoria and the Australian National Academy of Music, interspersed with comedy from Shaun Micallef, Josh Thomas and Charlie Pickering. It was a brilliantly executed way to pay tribute to the 2.6m Australians who look after sick, aged or disabled loved ones.
5. Johnson & Johnson
Using the word vagina on national television took some balls, even for a sanitary product. No, it wasn’t as brazen as the controversial U by Kotex beaver reintroduced to Facebook this year. But the ad for Carefree Actifresh liners took viewers off guard with a straight-talking naked lady speaking candidly about feminine hygiene.
What if Felix Baumgartner, who jumped from the edge of space wearing a Red Bull-branded suit, had landed with a splat? The energy drink brand could have been crushed by the backlash.
Red Bull also tried something different for the launch of three new variants, teaming up with Storm Surfers director Justin McMillan and surfer Sally Fitzgibbons to make an underwater 3D film, and pairing animator Craig Redman with motorcross daredevil Robbie Maddison.
7. Make it cheaper
Price comparison site Make It Cheaper took a chance on Innocean, an agency known only for its work on Korean car brands.
- This list first appeared in the Encore and Mumbrella Annual available in the App store and on Google Play.