VB unveils The Regulars – and ditches the hard-earned thirst

VB’s long awaited new advertising campaign – The Regulars – has finally been unveiled – and it’s no longer the drink for when you’vd got a hard-earned thirst.

The work is the biggest campaign yet from the Sydney outpost of Droga5, which launched after David Nobay departed Saatchi & Saatchi two years ago.

Filmed in Ballarat with a cast of 1500, it features a march of comical archetypal Aussie men. They include:

  • “Blokes punching above their weight”
  • “Men who’ve had their arm in a cow”
  • “Guys who peaked in high school”
  • “Meat tray winners”
  • “Blokes who’ve done the phantom”
  • “The manscapers”
  • “Guys who claim to have punched a shark”
  • “The Brewers”
  • “The miniature bat signers”

The ad airs on TV for the first time tonight during the first drinks break of The Ashes coverage on SBS. It includes cameos from Michael Clarke, Wally Lewis, Paul De Gelder, Scott Cam, Molly Meldrum, Peter Russell Clarke, Dean Jones, Michael Klim, Billy Brownless and Greg Evans.

Nobay said: “What was clear to us from the start is that VB is the great leveller – that’s what makes it such a quintessential Aussie brand. It doesn’t matter who you are, what you do or wear, when you pick up VB you become a part of something authentic. Our creative challenge was to amplify that in a way that is equally authentic, Australian and real. The result is the ‘The Regulars’ and as a team it’s work we’re really proud of.”

VB’s “hard-earned thirst” tagline has been axed, to be replaced by “VB – The Drinking Beer”. VB also has its own brand website for the first time, including a live webcam showing the production line. As well as TV, the campaign will run in print, radio, outdoor, online and at point of sale.

Peter Sinclair, Marketing Director of Carlton and United Breweries, said: “This new campaign is another step forward for VB and will play an integral role in driving the brand’s future growth.”



  • Creative Agency Droga5
  • Creative Chairman David Nobay
  • Creative Credits Cameron Blackley and Matty Burton
  • Agency Producer Paul Johnston


  • Director Gary Freedman, The Glue Society
  • Director of Photography Danny Ruhlmann
  • Production Company @radicalmedia
  • Producer Cath Anderson
  • Production Manager Clare Shervington


  • Marketing Director CUB Peter Sinclair
  • Group Marketing Manager VB Paul Donaldson
  • Senior Brand Manager VB Scott McGregor


  1. Matt Granfield
    8 Jul 09
    10:47 am

  2. Possibly the best beer ad I’ve seen on Australian TV ever. Pips Cascade at the post.

  3. Ollie
    8 Jul 09
    10:51 am

  4. Pretty freaking epic

  5. Zac Martin
    8 Jul 09
    11:02 am

  6. Hmm, not really a fan. Too much hype and doesn’t compare to other “big ads”. Not a fan of “The Drinking Beer” either.

  7. Jojo
    8 Jul 09
    11:04 am

  8. Hits the mark for me and kinda makes me thirsty

  9. Matt Granfield
    8 Jul 09
    11:12 am

  10. Zac, I think it’s much better than some other ‘big’ ads we’ve seen lately because it’s creating something that non-traditional VB drinkers can identify with. Regular VB drinkers are loyal, they don’t need to sell anything to them. They’re trying to own ‘the drinking beer’, as opposed to the sipping beer, the ‘European’ beer, the mid-strength beer or the ‘low-carb’ beer. It is, pardon the pun, gold.

  11. re: turn on
    8 Jul 09
    11:14 am

  12. I still have “a hard earned thirst”…

    … “The Drinking Beer” makes me think “The Beer you get Drunk On”

  13. Pete Zerhut
    8 Jul 09
    11:17 am

  14. “Too much hype” is hardly meaningful ground for knocking something.
    As if the target audiences will have been waiting around with baited breath for the new VB campaign.

  15. GJM
    8 Jul 09
    11:20 am

  16. I’m not a VB drinker.. but watching that ad makes me want to have one! Success in my books.

  17. Brian Haverty
    8 Jul 09
    11:24 am

  18. C’mon, Commenters… what have they missed? “The Mullet Preservation Society”? “Out-of-Work Beer Wenches”?

  19. Greg Smith
    8 Jul 09
    11:28 am

  20. Still the “knockabout’s” beer. Whatever happened to KB?

  21. Tim Beveridge
    8 Jul 09
    11:30 am

  22. Awesome.

  23. The Bogan
    8 Jul 09
    12:02 pm

  24. Don’t know what that cost, but I’d rather they’d used the money to cut a dollar off the cost of a slab.

  25. Campbell Smith
    8 Jul 09
    12:05 pm

  26. I like it. I don’t think it’s about the ad so much, but the creative territory. Lots of ideas to drill down into in lots of different ways. My favourite is the ‘Guys who peaked in high school’. Funny.

  27. Matt Vaughan
    8 Jul 09
    12:14 pm

  28. Finally they bring VB into the 21st century!
    On par with the Carlton “canoe’ and “big ad”.
    Love the cashed-up bogans!

  29. Renai LeMay
    8 Jul 09
    12:23 pm

  30. There’s only thing that would make me start drinking VB again: a better taste***.

    ***Coopers boy from South Australia, also partial to Guinness

  31. Intentionally Anon
    8 Jul 09
    12:36 pm

  32. I saw a well-placed giant floating ad on The Australian homepage. Great media buy from MediaCom! (I’m sure those ABs are rushing out to buy a case of VB throwdowns now).

    I loved the TV ad but thought digital executions are such a typical depressing afterthought.

  33. Dan Friedlander
    8 Jul 09
    12:40 pm

  34. As a regular beer drinker, I don’t feel engaged by this ad. It offers me no reason to specifically order a VB at the pub, or pick up a case over a similarly priced offering from Lion Nathan.

    Why don’t I feel engaged? I identify with the groups of men, but there is no group I particularly _want_ to be a part of. I won’t be switching to VB based on this ad…

  35. chris
    8 Jul 09
    12:55 pm

  36. Best beer ad in years.

  37. David
    8 Jul 09
    12:56 pm

  38. “Embedding disabled by request”

    If that’s a link from the official YouTube channel, massive agency FAIL.

  39. Matt Costain
    8 Jul 09
    1:02 pm

  40. Good work. Might be my Ballarat heritage, or the fact I laughed a few times. I’ll still be ordering Coopers though.

  41. mumbrella
    8 Jul 09
    1:19 pm

  42. Thanks for flagging that, David. I’ll take a look into that…

  43. James
    8 Jul 09
    1:21 pm

  44. worth the wait.. .. first beer ad which has really dimensionalised aussie blokes in a fun and non try hard way…VB is the great ‘leveller’ and i think this work hits the spot…

  45. Hamish
    8 Jul 09
    1:22 pm

  46. What a great ad. Its turned the tune from ‘a hard earned thirst’, which in todays language and make up of Australian workers alienated a majority, to ‘the drinking beer’ a peoples beer…

    Great job – I’m not a VB drinker but I’m feeling like one now!

  47. mumbrella
    8 Jul 09
    1:25 pm

  48. Embedding now fixed.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  49. Andrew
    8 Jul 09
    2:19 pm

  50. Hamish #23, just wondering how ‘a hard earned thirst’ alienated a majority?

    Unemployment is still under 7% meaning more than 93% work – probably harder than ever these days.

    And ‘a hard earned thirst’ could also be relevant to people who played sport, helped a charity, even attempted a domino world record. That could capture a chunk of the 7% unemployed, say half of them.

    So the old tag line worked for 96.5% of Australians – from Mac Bank guys to Kenny to Grant Kenny. So why do you think it’s alienating?

    I remember when a new guy changed the Nike tagline from ‘Just Do It’ to ‘I Can’. He didn’t last long.

  51. Ben
    8 Jul 09
    2:33 pm

  52. The drinking beer huh? Shit, who’d have thought that’s what you were supposed to do with it.

    Sure it’s a big ad. Doesn’t make it a good one in my opinion. And to dump ‘a hard earned thirst’ you need a much better line than ‘the drinking beer’.

  53. C K Cash
    8 Jul 09
    2:39 pm

  54. Sad to lose the “hard earned thirst..etc” tagline…Also VB is a bit cheeky in reducing the % alcohol and not reduce the price. Wonder if there will be any backlash in that. Cant stand the stuff!

  55. Ella Smith
    8 Jul 09
    2:40 pm

  56. I found myself looking for a banner that I would fit under. I didn’t find one. It made me feel a bit alienated from my favourite beer…

  57. Chris
    8 Jul 09
    2:42 pm

  58. Still tastes like piss in a can

  59. The Horse
    8 Jul 09
    2:43 pm

  60. Love it. We all “cut our teeth” on VB, and this ad brings us all back to what its all about. Just regular blokes and chicks………..not princes and princesses, enjoying a beer. I’d be ashamed to have an Asahi out of an ice cold glass again. VB for me.

  61. Jay
    8 Jul 09
    2:52 pm

  62. I like the miniature bat signers – I loved my miniature bat – Now I want another one and I want it signed.

  63. Dave
    8 Jul 09
    3:16 pm

  64. Definitely one of (if not THE) best ads made by an Aussie ad agency in the last decade.

    8 Jul 09
    3:21 pm

  66. Good natured. Good humoured. Good fun.

    If only more ‘marketing communication’ was like this.

  67. Spunky1972
    8 Jul 09
    3:25 pm

  68. Love it! Not even Aussie and I got goosebumps.

  69. Rog
    8 Jul 09
    3:26 pm

  70. Sheesh some of you guys are so boring!!!! ‘It doesn’t engage me, I don’t want to be part of any of these groups’, WTF??! This ad is brilliant, I sent it around the office and everyone is having a laugh and talking about it. It makes VB look younger, fresher and dare I say it drinkable!!!

  71. Ben
    8 Jul 09
    3:30 pm

  72. Dave (32) surely you can’t be serious. Hell Mojo’s recent work for Boags shits all over it. And what about the first Big Ad?

  73. Azza
    8 Jul 09
    3:32 pm

  74. Too long and too boring. Boags ad is still the benchmark beer ad in my eyes!

  75. Lachy
    8 Jul 09
    3:32 pm

  76. Funnier on second watching, but underwhelming on the whole. It doesn’t have the spectacle or memorability of “The Big Ad”, or the VB orchestra and I’ll venture will be quickly forgotten.

    Ditto “the drinking beer” … it stands for nothing except getting drunk and quickly at that (just the sort of encouragement Australia needs right now).

    “A hard earned thirst” had so much more meaning and drive. It was a statement, it had so much emotion. Bring it back!

  77. Lynton
    8 Jul 09
    3:42 pm

  78. At least they didn’t ditch the theme song so there is some throw back to VB’s heritage.

    This ad still demonstrated VB’s strengths and re-inforces the values of the brand to its true audience.

    Its an ad that has got it right for its market. The strategy here is not designed to take back people that now drink Boag’s or Corona or some other fancy pants premium or imported beer.

    Its spot on and explores some good crreative territory and I suspect will lead to some more iterations down the track.

    I say Noby is still at the top of his game.

  79. anon
    8 Jul 09
    4:20 pm

  80. I really like the concept (broadening the message for VB) but this looks like another big beer ad. Who wants to be another anything? Droga5 out of 10.

  81. J.J. Abums
    8 Jul 09
    4:23 pm

  82. 2 POINTS:

    1) Big ad bandwagon.
    2) Taking the piss out of the diggers march is not going to sit well with the RSL. Didnt we just go through this issue recently????!!!

    As a matter of fact I’m not feeling that thirsty. Sorry.

    8 Jul 09
    4:25 pm

  84. Good point Lynton (comment 39)!

    Too many campaigns last as long as the current Marketing Director (about 18 months), before a new agency and a new direction is tried out.

    ‘The Regulars’ really does build on the ‘Blokey’ traditions of the VB brand. This is much harder to do than starting with a clean sheet of paper.

  85. Anon
    8 Jul 09
    4:42 pm

  86. Glad I’ve seen the TVC because earlier today I was scratching my head over the press ad. It’s all a bit overcooked for me.

  87. bearit
    8 Jul 09
    5:55 pm

  88. Not a single female comment to the feedback here. It’s interesting. Many females really do enjoy a beer. Sadly for VB you now won’t see a single one drinking a VB after tonight. Yes it is supposed to be a ‘piss take’ on the Aussie male but to celebrate it? To make it the thing you stand for? It just embarrasses the brand.
    I think of Streets and JetStar and think….where have I seen the street parade trying to take the mickey out of colloquial Australia before???? Pity they stole (correction – replicated) the idea but not the spirit.
    Sorry VB. I might have had a few when I had a hard earned thirst but unless I now don a flanno shirt, swear, fart and burp I think I’ll choose another brew.

  89. Ash
    8 Jul 09
    7:05 pm

  90. The campaign has lots of avenues to expand into different media and can go for a while. I loved Big Ad but other than the “Big Ad” there was nothing else. This has an opportunity to go for a while in many different directions.

    Molly Meldrum was the weird one for me. Was he just at the location or did they throw him in for a reason? Would rather have seen a “Daddo” or the “Fat Kid from Hey Dad” all grown up.

  91. Reevesy
    8 Jul 09
    7:22 pm

  92. westpac contains booze?

  93. louie
    8 Jul 09
    9:21 pm

  94. Great add…..great product!!!!……did i see Molly Meldrum in the crowd??

  95. eagle
    8 Jul 09
    10:42 pm

  96. Give me the old ads any day of the week. They are timeless… ‘Matter of fact… I’ve got it now…’

  97. Ed Commander
    9 Jul 09
    8:59 am

  98. Hmm. There’s a nice idea in there, but I’m not totally won over by the execution. That said, a couple of the ‘groups’ brought a smile to my face. I believe for the primary target audience of males 18+, C,D& E’s, this will be extremely successful.

    On a personal note… I LOVE the new tag. The Drinking Beer positions it perfectly as a beer without pretense; a beer for consumption by people who like a drink.

    And most likely excellent to get ratted on.

    Dear Media Planners, do not attempt to achieve your numbers by dumbing it down to 30″ spots. Allow it to live and breathe.

  99. Wayne
    9 Jul 09
    10:33 am

  100. Ted Royer the very successful and highly regarded ECD at Droga5 New York made this observation at Cannes less than two weeks ago:

    “There are a few formulas that get repeated over and over again, So I will list a few of these formulas in the hope that anyone reading this will never repeat them again. I urge any creatives out there reading this not to ever again write the following ads:

    …A person (usually a child) smiles and runs through a city. Then that person get joined by more people, all smiling and running, then a huge crowd gathers, all smiling and running, Then we see them begin to “create” something out of everyday objects. Then we see a long distance shot of the “creating ” something, usually from a car window. Then a dog watches them. Then they step back and admire what they’ve created (usually a big logo).”

    Guess he should have sent an all company email.

  101. lloyd
    9 Jul 09
    4:08 pm

  102. They still need to overcome perceptions around taste. I went off it years ago because i perceived it as a bit harsh(er) than the others. Still, this ad is good and may get me to revisit. Which is all they can ask for i suppose.

  103. anothermous
    10 Jul 09
    11:20 am

  104. pity the idea wasn’t as big as the budget.. Can’t see this one running in twenty years time like its predecessor did.

  105. Sully
    10 Jul 09
    3:32 pm

  106. I like the appeal to the common man, invoking the Australian “Tall Poppy Syndrome” via a Brand leveller i.e. a brand for the Ozzie Bloke no matter who he is.

    One thing that I really like is the watchability and the fact that repeat viewings show some interesting stuff.

    Sometimes size does matter and I think it could force some re-appraisals by former drinkers as well as attracting new ones.

  107. Media Neutral
    13 Jul 09
    2:22 pm

  108. Exceptionally well done. How many guys in the target audience didn’t laugh at – or associate with – at least one of the featured marching groups? (“Blokes who’ve done the phantom” was my personal favourite.)

    Clever and understated use of ambassadors too.

    Nice job Droga5. So much more on target than those naff “oh look at us dull and inoffensive mates all out together being dull and inoffensive building a boat” ads of VB’s major competitor.

  109. greg thompson
    17 Jul 09
    10:41 pm

  110. What a beautifully produced piece of busy nonsense.

    The strategy planner at the client should be questioned on what he was thinking. The MD at the agency should know better. (Creative people are never held to account.)

    This is an ad that won’t recoup the cost. Not in profit, nor brand value. Not this year nor next.

    Challenge to VB (CUB or Fosters or whatever the entity is called) is to respond in July 2010 to show figures that prove this forecast wrong.

    If they can, I apologise in advance for my bigheaded interpretation. At the same time I do believe this apology is unlikely to be required.

  111. CK Cash
    17 Jul 09
    11:54 pm

  112. One thing that VB will forget to mention in all this “amazing” advertising …As of August 2009, the strength of VB will be reduced by 0.2% to 4.6% alcohol and the price will stay the same…

    hmm a bit of a ripoff for all the consumers?

  113. Paul
    22 Jul 09
    4:44 pm

  114. About time they did something about VB’s advertising, it was truly awful for such a long time. This ad gets a genuine laugh out of me, and I appreciate them lifting their game. It’s just a shame they didn’t do something about improving the taste of the dog-water they are trying to sell as well…

    Not in a million years VB, but thanks for the laughs.

  115. John C
    24 Jul 09
    5:52 pm

  116. GREAT ‘one-trick ‘ ad – have to see how the march goes on and on and on for the next 20 years…..are we going to get ‘up close and personals’ on all those minority groups…

  117. Samantha
    24 Jul 09
    6:53 pm

  118. I’m proud to say that I was born in the Victory Pub! It’s the old Kyneton and District Hospital and it’s a beautiful old bluestone building. But I can’t believe I didn’t recognise it – mind you, the surrounds of the building are all digitally created, so that was probably why. I’m not a beer drinker by any stretch of the imagination but I got what the creators were trying to do. VB is one of those beers that a lot of people of different creeds and job vocations drink.

  119. Jonny Maccers
    30 Jul 09
    10:55 am

  120. Tagline loses something. Hard earned thirst much more motivating. Getting a bit fatigued with it already tho. Having said that, very funny first few viewings. Shame beer tastes like gnat’s piss.

  121. EJ
    3 Aug 09
    10:32 am

  122. Would have been better if Michael Clarke had led the “Blokes punching above their weight” rather than the “Miniature Bat Signers”

  123. jim kiernan
    5 Aug 09
    4:42 pm

  124. I cant help wondering: “where to from here?” another parade? bigger banners? the drinkers beer? paint yourself into a corner and you can always jump out the window. but hopefully, not from 10 storeys up.

  125. C K Cash
    6 Aug 09
    8:51 am

  126. Now Tooheys/Lion Nathan have a got a job to do something good with their Tooheys New brand to trump Vomit Bile


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