Campaign Review: A split verdict on Myer, Destination NSW’s ‘invisible’ campaign and Bonds takes a stand for Mardi Gras

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: 303 Mullen Lowe's Scott Huebscher and Mutiny's Henry Innis offer their views on Destination NSW's domestic tourism push, Bonds' support of Mardi Gras, and deliver split verdicts on Myer's 'Layers of Me' campaign and IGA's jibe at Coles' Mini Shop Collectables.

Brand: Myer
Campaign: Layers of Me
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
The verdict: Could have been braver

Scott Huebscher, executive creative director of 303 Mullen Lowe, says: 

“‘Layers of me’. Interesting idea, relevant to clothing and fashion and their brand ambassadors’ stories. Makes perfect sense on paper, however the executions are lacking.

“I found these to be so boring and no interest to me. What are these? Are they ads? Some are :60s. are they supposed to be content? I guess it doesn’t matter, because to me they’re invisible, no matter where they live. In my understanding, Myer is struggling, why wouldn’t they produce creative to wake up consumers and get them excited about all the amazing brands they feature in-store? To me, it feels like they need to do something to get people to sit up and take notice, to wake them up from the everyday, to separate themselves from the ordinary. These just aren’t interesting enough to do any of that.”

Rating: 2/10

Henry Innis, partner at Mutiny, says: 

“It’s a strong strategy aligned to their wider, long-term brand platform of ‘Myer is My Store’, brought back in 2018 by Clemenger. I can understand what they’re trying to do — and this is the best of a more integrated idea, bringing together opportunities across e-commerce, content, communications… the whole kit and kaboodle. Execution could have been far braver.

“The challenge is it may not be addressing the underlying problem for Myer, which is foot traffic in a tough retail market. I suspect that there might have been more value in some smart offers (see VML’s ‘30 days of Summer’ for Macca’s which was a cracker) to reinvigorate sales.”

Rating: 7.5/10

Brand: Bonds
Campaign: Out Now
Agency: Leo Burnett
The verdict: Brand purpose done right

Huebscher says:

“What is there not to like about these? They are simple, colourful and show real people wearing the product – coupled with a short, nice dual-meaning headline that works.

“I love that Bonds is always trying to do things differently and get noticed, not only with this campaign, but with some of their previous work too (i.e. Bonds that Make the Season). While some other brands might plaster rainbows on their social media to celebrate Sydney Mardi Gras, Bonds actually makes something worthwhile, takes a stand and tells a story. They take risks as the best marketers should. Good for them. It’s refreshing.”

Rating: 9/10

Innis says: 

“Is there anyone nailing brand purpose, cultural positions and smart, punchy executions better than Leo Burnett and Bonds at the moment?

“The Queendom was already a fantastic piece that touched on a cultural change of female empowerment. Now they do it again through product innovation, timed well to leverage the Mardi Gras. It’s a fantastic example of a brand standing for things that resonate with their audience, whilst probably expanding their base as well.

“Telling stories about coming out, with partners, is a wonderful way to talk personally about experiences instead of preaching about their importance. It’s what makes this campaign so great, so easy to empathise with and such a fantastic example of branded storytelling. If only someone had released this sooner.”

Rating: 9/10

Brand: Destination NSW
Campaign: Now’s the time to love NSW
Agency: The Works
The verdict: ‘Invisible in a sea of sameness’

Huebscher says:

“Driving visitation to regional NSW to help out local businesses is a great cause and one that I really believe in. In fact, my family and I already have a weekend booked in the Blue Mountains in a few weeks for this very reason. Though I believe in the purpose of a campaign such as this, the creative for this amazing initiative is a major letdown.

“For such a worthwhile cause there has to be something better than a trite and expected hand heart image. Yes, I know it’s so easy for the public to get involved with the campaign and use the “LoveNSW” hashtag and be a part of it and Instagram it and share involvement on their social channels, but do we really believe they will – I’m not so sure.

“They won’t see this campaign because it’s invisible, lost in a sea of banal sameness. This seems like such an incredible opportunity to truly use the power of creative ideas to help people that are hurting – and the result is a heart hand. Additionally, the whole point of buying a double page spread is for stopping power, another tool in our arsenal to get people to stop, look, consider and act, however this double page spread was made to look like two separate ads that don’t look like they go together, therefore losing the effectiveness the format is intended for. Why?”

Rating: 2/10

Innis says:

“I hate to criticise any work around the bushfires — but jeez, Destination NSW really does bland advertising. Comparing #BookThemOut to this is like chalk and cheese really. The campaign isn’t punchy, doesn’t add zest and looks and feels like a government department wrote it. Time to get some real copywriters in there I think.”

Rating: 2/10

Brand: IGA
Campaign: Shop Scratch Win
Agency: The Core Agency
The verdict: Great insight but might not pay off

Huebscher says:

“Great promotion. Great insight. Fun, simple and cheeky executions that can be told easily and poke fun at the leading supermarkets using one of their famous giveaways against them. IGA comes across as confident in their product offering. I like these.”

Rating: 9/10

Innis says:

“‘Shop, Scratch, Win’. I get it, but it does make you feel like you’re down at the local Keno a bit too much. I think they would have been better moving away from the heuristics of scratchies and gambling, as it cheapens the campaign. Nice try to contrast against Coles, but I’m not sure that there are enough people outraged by the Little Shop to move the needle on brand or sales.”

Rating: 4/10

  • 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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