Campaign Review: A split verdict on ANZ’s #LoveSpeech, Qantas’ ‘nostalgia overdose’, and Great Northern taking Instagram to radio

Mumbrella invites the industry’s creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Nunn Media's Giorgia Butler and M&C Saatchi's Andy Flemming offer their views on Qantas' new eight-minute safety video, whether ANZ encouraged love speech with #LoveSpeech, Great Northern trying its hand at radio, and Pepper Money reviving the jingle.

Brand: Qantas
Safety Video
Agency: Brand + Story
The verdict: ‘Warm and fuzzy nostalgia overdose’

Giorgia Butler, head of strategy and innovation at Nunn Media, says:

“Focussing on the past can set a brand back in time, but this is so beautifully executed that I really can’t fault it. It’s not only an entertaining way to package a boring safety message, it’s also a clever way to remind passengers that Qantas is a brand they can count on, and always have.

“At eight minutes, the extended edit is long (but so are a lot of Qantas flights) however the chronological approach manages to keep it interesting. The mandatory safety messages are woven in cleverly, and the music is brilliant (why is ‘70s music so PORNY?!) to say nothing of the wardrobe and styling. Brand nerds will appreciate the evolution of the brand marks throughout. And who can resist the ‘80s Ron Burgundy moment? I found it genuinely funny in parts, without trying too hard.

“For frequent flyers (and crew members), who will see and hear this film more than anyone, there are ample opportunities to pick up something new even after multiple viewings. The feeling of pride they’ll get, teamed with a warm and fuzzy nostalgia overdose should give this piece some extra legroom.

“If you have to watch a boring safety video, it might as well be as beautifully made as this one.”

Rating: 8/10

Andy Flemming, group creative director at M&C Saatchi, says:

“I think Air New Zealand pioneered the use of airline safety videos as an opportunity to do something different with something we’ve all seen hundreds of times before, and it worked wonders for them. Up until then, safety videos were sacrosanct – and as long as you filmed a smiling passenger fitting an oxygen mask to a smiling child as they’re presumably plummeting towards the ocean you were ok. Qantas have used the opportunity to tell the entire story of the airline – and it works really well. I’m sure both passengers and staff will get a large serving of pride with their chicken or fish. It’s shot well, I’m sure it was a mammoth effort. Well done to all involved.”

Rating: 7/10

Brand: ANZ
Agency: TBWA Melbourne
The verdict: Brave

Butler says: 

“I really wish I had more positive things to say about this campaign, because I honestly believe it was born of good intentions, however this is a real miss for me.

“Mardi Gras is a time for celebration. Time to set aside our differences, offer support and acceptance, call out the beauty in our diversity, and build each other up. Ultimately, Mardi Gras is a massive, outrageous, fabulous, indulgent, euphoric party. Mardi Gras is not the time to be blue.

“I’m not suggesting the insight or data are wrong here – it’s 100% true that hate speech is a serious, ongoing problem that needs to be addressed. I just don’t believe this was the right cultural moment to do that.

“Billboards for this campaign were positioned in prominent locations along the Sydney Mardi Gras route, so in effect this is preaching to the converted. If the behavioural intent was to get people who currently use hate speech to stop (which is already a tall order) then why target the people who are the least likely to participate in hate speech in the first place? And worse, the most likely to be wounded by the reminder.

“Perhaps it’s a case of the creative execution losing site of the strategic intent. If ANZ wanted to show support, why not focus on how far we’ve come? Sadly, this campaign has given airtime to the hurtful words so many of us want to see left behind, when it was hoping to do the opposite.

“The outcome feels more like picking at a scab, than it does helping one heal. I have no doubt ANZ will keep learning and do a much better job next year.”

Rating: 3/10

Flemming says:

“We’ve all seen brands leaping onto the Mardi Gras bandwagon, but rather than a headline in sparkles and rainbows, ANZ always shows that it’s a serious supporter rather than an opportunistic PR story. GAYTMs is still one of the best ideas to come out of Australia so it’s always exciting to see what they’ll do next. And #LoveSpeech is confronting, scary and a lot darker than anywhere they’ve been before. I’m pretty sure to say that everyone who danced on Saturday night has been called many or all of these names – so it’s a brave appreciation of just why the Mardi Gras is so important to everyone involved. And you know what, ANZ have probably earned the right to go there.”

Rating: 7/10

Brand: Great Northern
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
The verdict: An effective idea that translates well

Butler says: 

“Instagram posts for radio? It’s an intriguing idea that actually translates pretty well.

“In essence, any beer ad that makes me feel thirsty is a good ad, and these spots manage that in a single-sense medium. The mental imagery created by these ads is genuinely evocative, and what a fantastic voice over.

“According to research, 88% of people still listen to radio in their car, and we know the peak commute times are pretty ordinary, routine day parts when we could all use a little moment to escape to somewhere more interesting. A branded escape via an audio Instagram post is a smart and creative idea that supports the brand strategy neatly.

“The executions are soothing and calm, but possibly a little on the passive side. As a radio enthusiast, I’d love more brands to invest in audio logos – stings or jingles that audiences can’t help but recall. That said, for a brand with decent awareness like Great Northern, I think this does a great job of making the actual Great Northern drinker feel younger than they are – more Instagram and less Facebook.

“Nice work – I’ll be keen to hear how well this performs.”

Rating: 8/10

Flemming says:

“Clemenger have an annoying habit of coming up with simple ideas that really should have been produced before but haven’t – and this is no exception. Voiceover reads descriptions of Instagram pictures containing the product and we visualise them perfectly. Simple. Effective and a great use of the medium. Bastards.”

Rating: 7/10

Brand: Pepper Money
Real Life
Agency: String Theory
The verdict: ‘Fabulous music clip with an ad tacked onto the end’

Butler says: 

“I quite enjoy this ad… but I have no idea what it has to do with Pepper Money. The jingle (if we can even call it that?) is catchy, and the slightly imperfect performance and broad Aussie accent definitely achieve ear-worm status, however on early viewings, I had no idea what category the ad was for, let alone which brand, until the logo flashed up in the final seconds.

“Perhaps a high rotation will help cement the branding before the creative wears out, but that’s a pretty expensive gamble. And while it’s absolutely appropriate for Pepper Money to invest in a brand-building campaign at this stage, the branding in this piece amounts to a logo slapped on the end-frame, so I struggle to see this paying off in the short, medium, or long term.

“It’s also oddly specific. If the intention is to position Pepper Money as a lending alternative for real people with real lives, then I’m not sure the message will resonate for anyone who doesn’t identify with the lead protagonist. The notion of ‘real’ has become overused in communications these days to the extent that it is in danger of losing all meaning. What does a ‘real’ life look like anyway? I can only assume there’s more to come from Pepper Money to round out this campaign and reflect different versions of ‘real’ for their presumably diverse customer base.

“It’s also bloody long at two minutes, (although I suppose there will be TV friendly cutdowns… )

“All in all, this campaign is inoffensive, fun, likeable and even catchy.

“The only problem is I still don’t know what Pepper Money does, and why I would borrow from them.”

Rating: 5/10

Flemming says:

“Most Australian advertising folk spend most of their lives trying to capture real life in Australia and fail most of the time. The casting is always Google Image appropriate, research friendly and paints a nice warm client-friendly take on our island home. Pepper Money’s film captures what I imagine is a far more real take on Australian life and so connects to the product – it just takes a really long time to do it. I can’t help but feel that this is a fabulous music clip with an ad tacked onto the end – but as a piece of film it’s fun, well shot but about a minute and a half too long.”

Rating: 5/10

  • As told to Zoe Wilkinson. If you’re a senior creative or strategist who would like to take part in a future Campaign Review, please email zoew@mumbrella.com.au

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