Campaign Review: Aldi’s outstanding ad, SATC’s missing strategy and Myer’s forgettable campaign

Mumbrella invites the industry’s most senior creatives and strategists to offer their views on the latest ad campaigns. This week: Lindsay Thompson, creative director at Khemistry and Host/Havas' Ant Melder offer their views on South Australian Tourism Commission's ad that tried too hard, Aldi's near perfect 'pointless' ad and Myer's slightly confused narrative.

Brand: South Australian Tourism Commission
Agency: TBWA\Adelaide
The Verdict: Fresh and authentic ad which didn’t nail the content strategy

Lindsay Thompson, creative director at Khemistry, says:

Thompson says: “The scenery is nice and there are interesting things to do, but it’s not enough to get me to watch content that long”

“I saw the PR for this when it launched but didn’t dig deeper. A five day ad? Really? It’s a big idea for a beautiful state, but does it pay off? I’m on the fence. One side of me asks ‘why,’ while the other side says ‘brave.’ I’m also leaning to ‘why couldn’t I go on this junket?’

“As it unearths a bundle of things to do in South Australia, it quickly comes across as trying too hard. The supplied video was the 60” edit so I went to the South Australia tourism site for more. I couldn’t find the extended content anywhere.

“I eventually found the YouTube channel and settled in for a weeks’ worth of watching. I didn’t get past 10 minutes. I get it, the scenery is nice and there are interesting things to do but it’s not enough to get me to watch content that long. I won’t watch the entire catalogue and I’m fairly certain not many will. This begs the question – who exactly was this campaign aimed at?

“While the identity of the brand may increase during the first phase, it’ll fizzle if viewers are expected to watch the extended content. It takes a while to extract enough tasty morsels to prompt a flurry of expensive ticket purchasing from the northern states.

“Maybe I’m still too much in love with the old SA/Barossa ‘Be Consumed’ spot.”

Rating: 4/10 (10/10 for selling it in)

Ant Melder, executive creative director at Host/Havas, says:

Melder says: “It does the mandatory location highlights reel in a way that feels fresh and authentic”

“I like this. It does the mandatory location highlights reel in a way that feels fresh and authentic. It’d catch my eye and pique my interest if I caught it during the Grand Final media slot. I don’t quite get how the follow-up content works though – do they want me to go to their YouTube channel and stream five days’ worth of B-roll?

“If so, not likely, I’ve got a million other better things to, like listen to this brilliant podcast, read this brilliant book or watch this awesome show. And I don’t think anyone is going to flick over from Carpool Karaoke, Rick and Morty, their favourite porn site or whatever else they’re doing on the rest of the entire internet to seek out advertising content they’ve spent the last decade of their lives finding active ways to avoid.”

Rating: 7/10, content strategy 3/10

Brand: Aldi
Agency: BMF
The Verdict: Simple, irreverent, funny and on brand

Thompson says:

“Love this. BMF and Aldi are on a jealousy-inducing streak (helped along with rock-solid brand positioning). It’s perfectly cast, directed and finessed.

“Not much else to say other than I watch it every time, I giggle every time, and it resonates perfectly with everyone’s experience (sans the Heaven’s Gate outfit part). The down side is Aldi is still too far for me to drive to shop there… one day.”

Rating: 10/10

Melder says:

“I love everything about this. The four things I love the most are:

  1. The brief is built on a proper insight/point of view from the brand, around the pointlessness/borderline duplicity of loyalty schemes. Rather than jumping on the points bandwagon, Aldi have a clear, consumer-focused way of going about business. And they’re not afraid to shout about it. Before we even get to the execution, just the idea that ‘we don’t do loyalty schemes, they’re a rip-off’ brilliantly depositions the competition.
  2. The rubber seriously hits the road with the Points Calculator. What a brilliantly simple and persuasive way to demonstrate the folly of loyalty schemes.
  3. As mentioned above, I’m a fan of ongoing platforms with a ring of truth at their core. ‘Good Different’ is exactly that and will keep inspiring outstanding work like this for many years to come.
  4. The TV execution. Simple, irreverent, funny, on brand.

“My only niggle – and this is very likely me being dumb – is that the wardrobe change confused me. I thought the red tunics were the supermarket uniform, so when the lady receiving the daft Points prize card transitioned from ‘ordinary’ clothes to the red tunic it threw me a bit. Just a detail though – overall, brilliant.”

Rating: 9/10

Brand: Myer
Agency: Clemenger BBDO Melbourne
The Verdict: Nice, but not memorable

Thompson says: 

“In the bloodied battlefield of department store retail, the return of ‘My Store’ as the tagline isn’t a bad idea. Its directness and simplicity will evoke lost customers to reinvestigate while it implants into the new buying generation.

“The spot itself looks great with disciplined craft and settled life moments. The narrative confuses me as I struggle to distinguish if it’s a linear story of the central hero female, or a montage of various product offerings. The rework of ‘Everywhere’ by Fleetwood Mac has pertinent lyrics that probably reflect the strategy and will likely be the most memorable part of this. That said, isn’t everyone doing a slow rework these days?

“Relatable moments are always nice but are frequently used these days. While it might be an overdue cut and polish for the Myer brand, it’s not really going to cut through the saccharine fog at this time of year.”

Rating: 6/10

Melder says:

“Remember Carlsberg’s ‘That Calls For A Carlsberg’ campaign? Or Adidas’s ‘All In’ work? How about The Economist’s ‘Debates’ ads? Nah? Thought not. But I bet you can quote from memory your favourite Economist red poster headline*. And remember at least three great ads from the ‘Carlsberg don’t do <insert something kinda mundane here> but if they did it’d be the best <that thing again> in the world’ campaign. And if you’re an ad nerd like me, the three words ‘Impossible is nothing’ probably send a little shiver up your spine and give you, excuse the icky turn of phrase, ‘mind wood’.

“The reason I bring this up is that the three latter campaigns each got spiked in favour of work that was not as memorable and, let’s face it, not as good. Call me old fashioned but I reckon ongoing, long-term platforms are the most powerful weapon in advertising.

“Obviously getting a great one up and running isn’t easy but, once you do, you open the door to years, even decades of fame and fortune for the brand (and agency). When I think about the brilliant Marmite DNA project from last year, I love the way it took a platform that’s been going for decades (You’ll either love it or hate it) to somewhere fresh. Same with Snickers ‘Hungerithm’.

“So I came to the Myers work very positively disposed to the idea of bringing back a once-famous platform. And I quite like the ad. But two things occurred to me. The first is that while ‘Myer, My Store’ is short, snappy and kind of sticky, it’s no ‘Just Do it’. Unlike ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ it doesn’t have a core of surprising truth cut with dash of tension.

“So the work that comes out of it – and here’s my other thought – is in danger of feeling generic. Add to the mix an execution that’s nice – nice cinematography, nice track, nice casting, nice plays on words, nice grade – and you have an ad that’s very nice but not particularly memorable.

“*My favourite is ‘Somebody mentions Jordan. You think of a Middle Eastern country with a 3.3% growth rate.”

Rating: 6/10

Brand: Optus
Agency: 72andSunny
The Agency: Confusing brand identity with potential 

Thompson says:

“Is it just me or are there a lot of dancing ads at the moment? I struggle with this spot, but that might just be because I have bad dance fatigue.

“Cutting to the chase, the spot leaves me a bit underwhelmed after the first view. The message is murky. There’s something about choices in there but clarity around quality of product and/or coverage is non-existent. My glass half full is a Telco client is willing to try something different.”

Rating: 6/10

Melder says: 

“For me, this is a cool ad with a questionable strategy. Sure, the dancing guy is fun, the casting’s spot on and the whole thing’s quite entertaining. But I came away with one question flashing inside my head: WHAT THE F*&K HAPPENED TO USAIN BOLT?! Optus have spent a bunch of time linking old mate to the brand, but now I seem to see more of him on football pitches (well, subs’ benches) than I do in Optus ads.

“This got me thinking not about coverage and speed, but whether it’s genuinely possible to cross over from one sport to another at professional level. And when my train of thought headed back to the ad, I began puzzling over this confusing brand identity crisis and desperately hoping Optus would stop with the ad hoc content play and do something meaningful and lasting with the criminally under-utilised ‘Yes’ platform.

“At the moment ‘Yes’ feels like a mandatory graphic chucked on the end of just about anything. It could be so much more.”

Rating: 7.5/10 for the ad, 5/10 for brand strategy

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

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